Wedding Feature: Nick and Kymberly

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It all began when Nick proposed to Kymberly…and the rest, as they say, is history.

Getting engaged is such an exciting time. And as a jeweller, it’s always an immense privilege to be involved with such a special season in peoples’ lives.

We work really closely with every one of our clients, particularly those people who commission custom made designs.

With Nick and Kymberly’s engagement and wedding, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths was involved in a variety of ways.

The first commission was, of course, the engagement ring. The lovely couple requested we make a ring which reflected their love of the ocean.

Kymberly selected an aquamarine gemstone for it’s colour, purity and meaning. I then worked alongside her to create a design which embodied the sea, with a subtle form and clean lines that reflected the ocean and nautical essence.

Once the design was agreed upon, I crafted the ring in white gold and set in the aquamarine centrepiece, with tapering diamonds down the surrounding band.

Custom engagement ring by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Then it was time for the wedding rings. Nick is a big fan of Lego and we just love this picture of a bride and groom holding their wedding rings…

Lego rings

Nick opted for a classic, comfort-fit yellow gold band, whilst Kymberly’s wedding ring was made to fit perfectly flush around her engagement ring…

As a gift for Nick, Kymberly surprised him with one of our antique silver pocket watches. This handsome gift was presented to Nick by his groomsmen, on Kymberly’s behalf, at his pre-wedding brunch.
And finally, the wedding day…which was absolutely perfect. Magical even.

From Benjamin and the team at Benjamin Black Goldsmiths, to our friends Nick and Kymberly – Mr and Mrs Widley, we wish you a world of future happiness together. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

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Men’s Style Essential: Money Clip

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There’s been a revival for all things debonair in the world of men’s fashion.

Then again, items of the genteel kind, such as tie clips and cuff links, have always been popular.

But lately we’ve been receiving requests for more obscure items which were originally at the height of fashion many years ago.

The money clip is one such accessory making a big resurgence.

Nothing epitomises style more than a well-groomed chap equipped with a handsome money clip.

Not only are these fine gadgets practical, keeping your notes neatly folded, they also ooze suave sophistication.

And although plastic is more common than cash, there are occasions where notes are better than cards, like when you’re heading for a night out on the town for example.

Here’s one which I have just made in sterling silver. It’s a bit wider than the classic one, which was inspired by a request I had from a customer in Auckland who ordered a custom made money clip.

Money Clip

Are you a fan of money clips? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Hematite Intaglio

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Hematite intaglio…don’t those two words go so eloquently together?

They also look pretty amazing together as well.

What is it exactly?

Hematite is a type of stone. A mineral form of iron oxide, it is mined as the main ore of iron, and is found in colours from black to steel or silver-gray, brown to reddish-brown, or red.

It was most popular in Europe during the Victorian era, which makes it even more alluring (well to me anyway).

Intaglio on the other hand, is a technique used in art, whereby an image is created by engraving into a flat surface.

I made this ring with a hematite intaglio, which seems to resemble an ancient armoured soldier’s side profile…or something like that.

Hematite intaglio ring by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Hematite intaglio ring by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths.

It’s a little different for me, but I love both hematite and the art of intaglio, so it seemed like a perfect marriage.

What do you think? Are you familiar with hematite and/or intaglio? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Farewell Joel

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At Benjamin Black Goldsmiths we had the pleasure of hosting Joel Whitwell as our Artist in Residence, from December 2013 to March 2014.

Joel Whitwell, Artist in Residence, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Joel came to us after spending seven months in Auckland (in 2013) working on an exhibition to showcase his work, after receiving the Masterworks Jewellery Box Award.

We really enjoyed having Joel on board and although we are sad to see him go, we wish him well on his next chapter.

Joel did an outstanding job whilst in our midst, adding to the creativity and vibrancy of our Nelson-based studio, and creating his own range, BRANCHES.

Branches Smokey Quartz Ring, Designed by Joel Whitwell

Branches Smokey Quartz Ring, Designed by Joel Whitwell, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths.

The line has sold incredibly well, with most pieces disappearing off the shelves as soon as we launched it.

Joel is an exceptional talent as an artist and jeweller and we know he will flourish wherever he goes. We will certainly miss having him around.

Bon voyage Joel, enjoy your year in Auckland, until next time my friend…

P.S. To see more of Joel’s work, click here to follow him on Facebook.

Precious Paua Pearls

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Paua or blue pearls are, in my humble opinion, one of New Zealand’s most prized possessions.

Everyone knows about pounamu or greenstone, however paua pearls are another ‘gem’ found only in Aotearoa, which are lesser known internationally.

They come from the paua, or abalone Haliotis iris and are available in a variety of hues, shapes and sizes.

But what I love about them the most, is the way they seem to encapsulate everything about New Zealand.

With hues of blue, green, violet and pink, they are elegant yet strikingly beautiful.

Here is a ring I have just hand crafted – made with 18ct white gold and set with a paua pearl.

Paua Pearl Ring by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Paua Pearl Ring by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

 

Custom Made Urn Stand

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There is always emotion attached to any art – and jewellery is no exception.

When people commission a piece, we go on a journey of sorts. A relationship forms as I’m invited into their world – and as the design takes form this develops. It’s a pretty special thing.

But occasionally I get asked to create something extra special, something which stays with you forever – like this sterling silver urn stand.

It was such a privilege to make this piece. It was a profoundly intense, emotional yet beautiful process.

Our lovely customers requested it to hold the urn which would contain ashes of their daughter.

It was months in the making. The time and love it took to make was so worth it.

Our heartfelt thanks to our customers for the opportunity.

Custom Urn Stand by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths IMG_6842 3 Custom Urn Stand by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

 

Letter from a Customer

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It’s not often you receive an actual letter these days (one which isn’t a bill anyway).

So when Amy and I were given this letter, by our dear customer Rita, we were absolutely blown away –

a) by her beautiful comments, and;

b) because she went to the effort to type it out and bring it in to us at the studio.

All artists know there are days when things go wrong – it doesn’t matter what you do, if you’re not in ‘the zone’ or on a bad roll, you just have to go with it.

Of course it’s the great days which make the challenging ones fade into the distance.

The day we received this letter was one of those days. It’s made me wonder, if Rita made us feel so special through simply sharing her gratitude, who can I return the gratitude with? One small thank you can make a massive difference…

 

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Introducing: BRANCHES by Joel Whitwell

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Benjamin Black Goldsmiths has just launched a brand new range of contemporary dress jewellery, BRANCHES, designed by 22-year old award-winning jeweller and Artist in Residence, Joel Whitwell.

Joel has been working on the BRANCHES range since he joined our Nelson-based studio and workshop in January.

Continuing on from Joel’s previous exhibition, Infra-thin, which took place in Auckland last year, BRANCHES is inspired by the investigation of the integrity of mass produced jewellery objects.

He says every piece is hand crafted to convey a whimsical uniqueness, so no two are ever the same, however the wood grain pattern is a constant commonality featured throughout.

“My inspiration for the range is based on creating a unique line which cannot be exactly replicated. The wood grain pattern is like a fingerprint, giving every ring, pendant, tie-pin or cuff-link an individual personality.”

BRANCHES by Joel Whitwell is available now at Benjamin Black Goldsmiths – 176 Bridge Street, Nelson, or online at www.benjaminblack.co.nz

BRANCHES BAND.

BRANCHES BAND.

BRANCHES Cufflinks

BRANCHES Cufflinks

BRANCHES Pendant

BRANCHES Pendant

BRANCHES Tie Pin

BRANCHES Tie Pin

BRANCHES Smokey Quartz Ring.

BRANCHES Smokey Quartz Ring.

Like Clockwork

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The ancient craft of watch and clock making has been around for centuries (or even longer perhaps).

My father, Rod Clark, is currently Nelson’s only fully qualified practicing watchmaker and we’re very lucky indeed to have him with us at Benjamin Black Goldsmiths.

We’re keeping him busy with plenty of repairs, overhauls, services and watch batteries. So when our friend Ishna Jacobs (photographer extraordinaire) popped in to take a few snaps, she had plenty of elements to choose from.

Ishna is great at capturing the art in our work and the work in our art.

She is a talented artist in her own right, as you can see from these stunning images…from Rod’s watchmaking corner…

Watchmaking - Benjamin Black Goldsmiths IAJ_1266-2 IAJ_1294-2Watch glasses - Benjamin Black GoldsmithsIAJ_1226IAJ_1233-2IAJ_1235-2IAJ_1239IAJ_1297-2

Black Tie Ensemble

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Last night I had the pleasure of attending the annual degustation dinner and auction to raise money for the Suter Art Gallery at the Nelson Yacht Club.

Well-dressed, distinguished gents were turned out in their dapper best, and it got me thinking about accessories that maketh the ultimate handsome ensemble.

Of course, the suave suit is a must, but a few simple pieces of classic jewellery can make all the difference when dressing for a smart occasion.

Here’s a sleek little ensemble I put together with a few statement Benjamin Black favs.

 

Windsor 3-Piece Suit: Crane Brothers
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lassic Tie Pin with Onyx: Benjamin Black Goldsmiths
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780 Verge Escapement Pocket Watch: Benjamin Black Goldsmiths
Quiff Signet Ring with Star Sapphire: Benjamin Black Goldsmiths