Piec­ing her life to­gether

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Tertiary Options -

HEIDI Or­chard did not like school be­cause she pre­ferred prac­ti­cal tasks. ‘‘I don’t like the­ory and I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was at school,’’ the 28-year-old ap­pren­tice tiler says.

Or­chard worked in re­tail for a few years be­fore a trip to Queens­land changed her life.

‘‘I saw a lead­light lamp and loved it. I didn’t even know what it (lead­light­ing) was called but I knew I wanted to learn how to do it,’’ she ex­plains.

Af­ter do­ing a stained-glass course ‘‘just for fun’’, Or­chard re­turned to Melbourne and be­gan an ap­pren­tice­ship in stained glass, which in­cluded study­ing at Holmes­glen In­sti­tute of TAFE.

The course touched on mo­saics, which ig­nited an­other in­ter­est.

‘‘I re­ally en­joyed it. So I took it fur­ther and sold my work at St Kilda mar­ket and ran classes in com­mu­nity cen­tres,’’ she says.

Un­for­tu­nately for Or­chard, at that time she had an em­ployer who did not give her any op­por­tu­ni­ties to ap­ply her knowl­edge.

‘‘The only time I worked with stained glass was at Holmes­glen so I left af­ter 18 months,’’ she says.

But with her pas­sion for the craft in­tact, Or­chard con­tin­ued to at­tend classes. When peo­ple be­gan ask­ing her to do jobs such as glass splash­backs, she de­cided learn­ing til­ing would be her next step.

Af­ter com­plet­ing a six-month test­ing pe­riod with Walk­ers Til­ing, Or­chard be­gan an ap­pren­tice­ship with the com­pany in April 2006.

She com­pleted the Cer­tifi­cate II in Wall and Floor Til­ing last year and will fin­ish the ap­pren­tice­ship in 2010.

Again she is happy with the tu­ition she re­ceives at Holmes­glen.

‘‘All the teach­ers are very help­ful,’’ she says. ‘‘And it’s all hand­son, which I like.’’

Mo­saic to the ears:

tiler Heidi Or­chard has fur­thered her skills at Holmes­glen In­sti­tute of TAFE.

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