Retired miner finds new calling as jeweller

FOR Warwick innovator Oswald “Ossie” Pike, the word retired never had much meaning.

At 83, the former farmer/miner/engineer/landlord has just kickstarted his latest hobby – making jewellery.

Mr Pike, who emigrated from Rhodesia in 1981, went to mining school in his homeland where he first discovered his affinity for geology.

“I like my rocks. It’s definitely a hobby of mine,” he said.

“You can turn a dirty-looking stone that looks like nothing into something beautiful.”

CRAFTING: Oswald

CRAFTING: Oswald “Ossie” Pike sits for hours a day at his machines, crafting the ornately shaped jewellery. .

While mining might have been genesis for Mr Pike’s passion, it was his background as a fitter and turner which he attributed for his talent.

All of Mr Pike’s polishing and cutting tools were handmade by him, and he spent hours a day making sure each piece of art was as perfect as could be.

“As an engineer, you were given a blueprint and then you were left to do everything yourself,” he said.

“It means I can pick up a rock and always cut it symmetrical, without jigs or anything.

“I can make virtually anything. I’m very happy to say you can show me something, and I’m very lucky I can usually do it.”

BEJEWELLED: Ossie Pike displays some of his handmade jewellery.

BEJEWELLED: Ossie Pike displays some of his handmade jewellery.

Mr Pike’s said he sources his jewels, which range from opal to more unique rocks such as mudstone, from Warwick and surrounds or friends who brought them back from their travels.

But for the go-getter who was once left with $8 to feed his family of four when he first moved to Warwick, who eventually rose to success owning several properties and mines, nothing could keep him occupied forever, as he revealed yet another project in the works.

“I’ve the bones of a complete book,” he said.

“I’m going to call it one of mine to ten of yours, because I’ve done so many different things in my life.”

To purchase Mr Pike’s jewellery, contact him on 4661 2340.

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