Zantedeschia Robini

Grounded in the fundamentals of traditional silversmithing, my work emerges from a conceptual base, a fascination with form and a love of adornment. I use curves, textures and simple geometric shapes to create modernist jewellery – small 3D forms with a lineage back to mid-century design and informed by a minimalist aesthetic. From my small collection pieces to larger, single gallery works, everything is crafted lovingly by hand.

The labour-intensive process of making jewellery spans long days and late nights. Starting with a flat sheet of silver or gold, I use a cut-and-paste solder method and traditional forging techniques to bend and shape the metal. Soldering is a waning art form, as increasingly sophisticated casting processes allow for mass-produced items. But I value the way soldering allows me to ‘construct’ a piece – as a furniture maker would create a chair – so soldering will always remain an essential process in my work.

Location too, impacts a maker. My two workshops – one in Dunedin city and one on a farm in the remote Catlins – inform the jewellery in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Being part of the city connects me to the gallery world, while long weekends on the farm reset my perceptions and therefore the design possibilities. Easy relocation suits jewellery. It is inherently portable and can be made from anywhere with a limited number of tools. Left-over metal gets melted down and reformed into new work, so it truly is a forever sustainable cycle.

10 products