Create a meaningful piece of jewellery and an unforgettable memory

Create a meaningful piece of jewellery and an unforgettable memory
Carol Saffer

Growing up in South Korea, Heecho Oh knew she wanted to be a designer; she loved art, and drawing was a passion.

Her mum suggested jewellery was the path to take and, after graduating with a Diploma in Engineering Jewellery at Melbourne Polytechnic, she worked in the industry for almost six years.

Two-and-a-half years ago, she set up her workshop, HEE CHO, where she conducts two-hour jewellery-making classes in a small light-filled space, taking only four students at a time, located upstairs in The Motley Bauhaus on Elgin St, Carlton.

In the past, she offered a repair service and bespoke jewellery making but her time is now completely taken up with the workshops, which are fully booked until the end of the year.

The classes accommodate a beginner’s skill level.

Spinning Ring is very popular with middle-aged women, while Lettering Silver Ring appeals to couples. 

Together they each create a ring.

“Japanese tourists love the Organic Shape Ring with Stones session,” Ms Oh said.

Students have to wait two weeks before they receive their finished ring as Ms Oh needs to complete the setting of the stones for them.

“When the rings are ready, I am shipping more and more to Japan these days.”

Her workshops teach the basics of silversmith and jewellery making.


She breaks down the ring-creating process into quickly learned tasks, and while the procedure is basic, the completed piece always looks professional.


“Stamping can be a little tricky, so I often help the students to achieve a great result,” she said.

The classes are for people to have an experience rather than teaching them the knowledge of jewellery making.

Ms Oh said, “I am very proud of this course because they can make something they can keep forever.”

“Many want an image or writing that is significant to them on the ring.”

“They keep their rings and the memory together.”

“So many come to make their wedding bands; it is meaningful and much more fun than just buying a ring from a store.”

Keeping the attendance numbers small allows her to give everyone personal help.

“I want all my students to have a perfect experience.”

Most of her young learners find her through TikTok and Instagram, and around 10 per cent return and take the complete range of courses she has to offer.

She values the time she spends teaching; engagement with her students is most important, and she strives to ensure the classes are fun.

“Next year, I think that as a jeweller, I want to do design.”


“My goal in 2023 is to continue the workshops and develop and expand the brand for my jewellery designs,” she said.


The popularity of the workshops is constantly growing to the point where Ms Oh would consider training and employing another teacher and moving to a bigger space; for now, she is happy with the current set-up.

Ms Oh is a woman of tenacity and many talents. 

When setting up the workroom, she sketched her idea for the workbench; then made it herself.

“I am very good with the tools.” •


Photo:Ajay Viswanath Manickam.

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