Ng Chyou Lin: The Quest for Brilliance
Ng Chyou Lin, mechanical engineer of 26 years, made a living by building clean rooms for the electronic industry. Due to Singapore’s rapid rate of change and huge advancements in technological, companies constantly look to cut costs to stay ahead. The gears were starting to fall apart for Chyou Lin. Companies relocated their production facilities to low cost countries such as China, Thailand and Malaysia. Chyou Lin decided to pack his bags and abandon the sinking ship as he realised that the opportunities to utilise his skill set and expertise are diminishing.
As one door closes, another opens, and this one led him to the jewellery industry. Knowing that he is a total stranger to the industry, Chyou Lin worked extremely hard in honing his craft and he began embarking on a new career, taking on the world of precious gemstones and metals with enthusiasm and eagerness.
The chance to enter the jewellery industry did not happen immediately, it is almost close to a year before Chyou Lin took notice of the industry. His posse served it up on a platter for him, “It was a coincidence as I had some friends that went to Thailand and bought some jewellery from Chiang Mai, and for the price that they paid, I felt it was rather nicely done. In fact, my friends were willing to pay more for it.”
Chyou Lin had to make a trip to Chiang Mai, and so he thought that perhaps he should learn more about jewellery, and maybe arm himself with the knowledge from the course, he would then be able to know what he is purchasing. “I signed up for a gemmology course at JDMIS and it really helped me to understand gemstones.” His journey was only just beginning as after the gemmology course, he went on the enrol in a design course.
Back To Basics
Life would have it such that when things are going your way, they go all the way, and this was the case for Chyou Lin. It so happened that his engineering background came in really handy for the design course.
“My engineering background helped a lot in the design and technical drawing aspect. Its something of a second nature to a mechanical engineer, the only difference are the ideas and inspiration that you need to get. Mechanical Engineers are required to draw something that is safe and that is it, whereas jewellery designers have to come up with something that is aesthetically beautiful and appeals to the senses as well as comfortable and durable. It is a completely different ball game.”
Given Chyou Lin’s engineering background of building custom clean rooms for clients, he was quick to understand what a designer needs in order to be successful.
“One needs to be versatile and to be able to balance different concepts.” Chyou Lin matches gems and jewellery with his clients’outfits and personalities to design and create beautiful pieces of jewellery that dazzle.
Importance Of Product Knowledge
“I was blown away at the different types of gemstones taught in the gemmology class. A layman could never imagine!”
They always say that knowledge is power, and it is evident in the jewellery industry that one needs to know in order to get ahead. New gemstones are being discovered everyday, and not having the knowledge of the product will seriously hinder anybody who wishes to enter the jewellery industry.
“It is important for someone to know the gemstones in order to get into this line. They need to know what is available, what to look out for. This is one of the shortcomings of the jewellery industry in Singapore, how can the industry improve if people do not know what they are selling?”
Chyou Lin could easily be mistaken as a spokesperson for JDMIS, but he insists that having the knowledge is key, “The course will help the industry and businesses to improve the quality of their front line service and it also helps to educate the consumers, especially in the high end retail sector.”
Quality is essential
All great artists take their inspirations from the world around them, Chyou Lin is no different. “I get my inspirations from magazines, on what is in the market, or in fashion, and it also helps me to decide what to do and how to do it. I then mix and match, combine different elements to come up with a unique design.”
Yet with all that being said, Chyou Lin’s quest for brilliance does not start from the magazines, it starts from the very essence of the jewellery, the gemstone itself. “I look for the stones first and work around them. As I am more into classical designs, I let the beauty of the gemstones shine. Ultimately, the focus goes back to the stones that you have, if you acquire quality gemstones, the designs are endless and there is very little that can go wrong when starting from an exceptional quality gem.”
Strive to Excel
You reap what you sow, and that is what Chyou Lin shares with any aspiring jewellery designer. “The more you get into it, the more you will know the industry. It takes at least six months to a year in order to get the feel of the industry. One must be willing to invest the time in order to excel.”
Chyou Lin’s engineering background of twenty years added value to his endeavour into jewellery. Even though it is of a completely different industry from jewellery, a business is still a business, and in order for one to excel in any field, one needs to know what they are doing and selling. Hence, he stresses the importance of having the knowledge and fundamentals. “Without good foundation, there is no way you can be proficient in anything. Ground work is important, and the courses which I took gave me that solid foundation. It gave me a good picture of where to start, and an idea of what is required to proceed to the next stage.”
About Ng Chyou Lin Designs