Introducing Philip Noakes


I was born in London in 1951 and and in 1972 completed the technically demanding, five-year full time, Diploma in the Design and Craftsmanship of Silversmithing at Sir John Cass College of Art, London, (1972), now the London Metropolitan University.

“The Cass” was affiliated with the prestigious Goldsmith’s Company. During my studies I was awarded a number of prizes and sat for the City and Guilds of London Institute examinations (today in an altered form known as the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council Awards) that judged my design and technical skills allowing me the privilege of registering my hallmark at Goldsmith’s Hall.

This award is an independently recognised measure of my technical and design skills. The Goldsmith’s Company has a long and prestigious history and is highly regarded in the gold and silversmithing industry U.K.

After completing my studies I worked in Hatton Garden (London, U.K), the key trade area for the jewellery, silversmithing and precious gem industries in London. I followed this with a role working for the esteemed architect, designer and goldsmith, Louis Osman developing a number of high profile commissions, including church plate, private commissions.

On my arrival in Australia in 1975 I worked as a designer and silversmith with jeweller Eric Car, Fremantle, and subsequently moved to Sydney to work with jeweller Tony White.

In 1981, I established my own jewellery workshop and in 1985 opened a contemporary jewellery gallery and workshop, Studio Noko in Surry Hills, Sydney with partner, Kate O’Sullivan (Katherine Kalaf) and showcased the work of contemporary studio jewellers from Australian studios.

Studio Noko broke new ground by seeking and gaining coverage for contemporary jewellers in prestigious fashion and design magazines as well as promoting contemporary Australian studio jewellery through an exhibition program and a window showcase.


On my return to Perth, Western Australia I was the lead designer and jeweller for the newly established Kailis Pearls, Fremantle where I researched and developed new collections for the brand. I was able to bring studio jewellery aesthetics, significantly enriching the profile of original jewellery making in what was a commercial, mainstream jewellery context.

In 2012 I established the innovative Contemporary Metal jewellery and silversmithing workshop and studio with jeweller Claire Townsend to create a context for skill learning and the promotion of contemporary jewellery. An ongoing series of classes has ensured that students at all levels have access to skilled technical training in Perth. This has been an important contribution as Institutes of Technology have minimised contact hours and lecturer contact. Throughout my career I have received a number of awards for design and technical skill. I have exhibited consistently since 1975 throughout Australia. I am included in a number of public and private collections including National Gallery of Australia, the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

In 2016 Philip was made a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Goldsmiths in London. At present he is working towards a major exhibition of silversmithing to be held at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at the University of Western Australia in 2019.