Passionately dedicated to exceptional craftsmanship
SWS are a husband & wife team but maybe that should be wife & husband team. Sandy Whittaker-Sparks and Rodney Sparks and the union of their skills dovetail into an imaginative and productive team.
SWS Manufacturing Jewellers are fortunate to be able design and handcraft some truly beautiful pieces from a private studio in Adelaide’s east. They have been making fine jewellery there for nearly a quarter of a century.
SWS is a modest studio when compared to others, but this provides the ability to deal with clients in an intimate situation that is relaxing for you. When you visit them you are exactly where your piece is being made, a true workshop.
Sandy has been on the bench since the mid eighties. She learnt her craft with an old and much loved Adelaide firm and trained under some of the state’s most capable masters. She was taught to make in the traditional way of rolling, forging, shaping and finessing the highest quality precious metals. This is somewhat a dying art in a world of overseas mass produced castings and CAD 3D wax printer castings. Rolling and forging techniques are vastly superior in terms of strength, wear and tear and the ability to be repaired as well loved pieces inevitably age. She is proud knowing your piece has the tenacity within to become an heirloom.
Her skills in piercing metal, wire work with an ability to create and make complex designs have been quietly appreciated by customers of the SWS workshop since 2000.
Sandy recently designed and crafted a magnificent baroque abalone pearl pendant for a special client. With encouragement from the client “Callirhoe” was entered into the JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards. She was deeply honored to be selected as a finalist from the best of Australia’s designers and manufacturers. This peer recognition from Australia’s peak body sincerely moved her.
It also underlines her skill to communicate with the client, understanding their aspirations and translating that into a brilliant form of art that will endure for generations.
The other half of the team is Rod. With a management background and a wealth of knowledge of diamonds and precious gemstones he meshes perfectly into this partnership.
Studying Gemmology in the mid to late nineties he was awarded the Stevenson Medal for Gemmology and was runner up to the Australia Prize, achieving a high distinction. This study was followed by undertaking Diamond Technology for which he achieved a distinction. During the course of these studies he also became a GAA Certified Diamond Grader. He then spent several years as SA’s Principal Practical Lecturer of Gemmology, subsequently leaving to focus on Sandy’s and his new baby, SWS Manufacturing Jewellers.
Succinct advice and assessment on the choice of diamonds or precious gems will help you make informed and wise decisions. Rod has spent nearly the last quarter century at the bench under Sandy’s tutelage. He is quite technically orientated and has an instinctive feel for precious metals. His gold work is very precise and he has a wonderful eye for detail.