Tell us about your work and your style:
We work with clients around NZ and internationally creating custom made jewellery. Every piece is handcrafted, using recycled metals and stones wherever possible…
Often we use our clients sentimental family jewellery in the creation of a piece. This gives it meaning and enables their legacy to continue. We try to stay away from CAD (Computer Aided Design) preferring to use traditional gold and silversmithing techniques. We are trade certified manufacturing jewellers, retaining the ‘hands on’ aspect of the craft is important to us. There is something special in knowing your jewellery has been entirely handmade by a person – and knowing the person who made it.
What makes you and your work unique:
My style involves a lot of movement in the metal. I prefer to create a design with wax or metal so people can see it in 3D and yet it still has the hand made aspect, rather than being printed etc. You will see flowing aspects in the signature Benjamin Black designs, such as the ‘loop’, as seen in The Decadence Ring, which signifies everlasting love and unity. We also have a strong ethical and sustainable focus, which is why we encourage our clients to bring us their old or unworn jewellery to be used in the creation of their new piece.
Tell us about your work space, what you like most about it, why it works for you:
We are fortunate to live and work in Nelson, which is a hub for artists and creatives. Being so close to nature and surrounded by inspirational people is incredibly powerful.
Any dreams or aspirations you would like to share:
We have been fortunate to be able to support many charitable organisations close to our hearts, such as Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the arts in general. Every year we contribute as much as we are possibly able, as we have all had personal experiences that make this type of work more meaningful. We want to continue supporting these organisations as our business grows and I would love more time to get out into the community working with high school students.
Which instagrams do you follow?
We are really interested in people who specialise in other areas related to the craft, such as engravers. We follow several master engravers around the world – the time, commitment and skill involved is incredible. Signet rings have become a huge part of our offering here at Benjamin Black, we work with a very talented engraver locally, however it’s always good to see what others are doing.
Was there a person or experience that first turned you on to Wedding Jewellery?
I love the stories and sentimental value of wedding jewellery. When people bring in their parents and grandparents wedding and engagement rings to reuse; seeing how much it means to them makes it all the more special for us as jewellers. There is a lot of love that goes into creating wedding jewellery, it’s an intimate and special experience.
What has been your biggest career challenge to date?
Getting out of my shell. As an artist I’m quite happy sitting at my workbench all day and creating, without having to talk to anyone. But as a business owner that’s just not practical. It’s something I’m continually working at as an introvert.
What has been your biggest career achievement to date?
Being awarded the Delliote Rising Star – one to watch award in 2016; and Young Business Person of the Year award in 2018.