About the Artist:
My name is Robyn and I live on a 2½ acre property not far from the historic Emu Bottom homestead in Sunbury, Victoria, Australia, with my gorgeous husband Stuart and two Jack Russell terriers, Jack and Ellie. We are ‘empty-nesters’, our daughter and son now adults leading their own, very exciting lives.
I absolutely adore living in this semi-rural spot with its kangaroos, echidnas and birdlife despite seeing the occasional snake or nasty ant or spider. My career path has been varied, starting off with a degree in Theology and a Diploma in Education and Pianoforte, playing piano and teaching music. These days I help my husband daily with bookkeeping, teach my piano students after school and make jewellery in between.
My interest in jewellery making began when my daughter left home at 18 to study music theatre in WA, another state of Australia that is four hours by plane from where we live. I was heavily involved in her music activities, taking her to singing and dancing classes around Melbourne and I knew there would be a huge hole to fill when she left. My niece arrived from across the country with a little box of beads and some jewellery tools. She was inspired by her friend. I was inspired by her and I haven't looked back. There is always a challenge and something new to learn. Currently I am doing a Stone Setting course at Northern Metropolitan Institute of Technology. It is great learning new skills while meeting like minded people.
Much of my creative process comes while sitting peacefully in my studio with my metal and gemstones with some soulful jazz music playing in the background. An idea starts to form, time stops and a new creation begins. Lately I have taken to pen and paper, drawing designs to scale and then transcribing the design onto cardboard to gauge how it will look and sit.
My inspiration often comes from designing a piece that suits the style of clothing that I currently am wearing. I love layering (as I always seem to be cold despite the season) and love earthy colours and many of my pieces have been made as part of my wardrobe first before they are seen in my shop. I prefer simple pieces with easy, fluid lines. I try and test each piece for durability and ease of wear. If it doesn’t sit right and needs constant adjusting it goes back to the design board.
I try not to look at other people’s work or be swayed by what is in fashion.
The name ‘RiverGum’ came about through an intersection of ideas and events – my love of semi-precious stones created in and by the earth over many years, a beautiful old gum tree at the front of our property that we can see from every window and the name of the paint we were using on our pergola at the time . For me, the name evokes a feeling of timelessness, enduring and long-lasting, the kind of qualities I would like for my jewellery pieces.
Parting with a piece of my jewellery is bitter sweet. I send it on its way with my blessing but I say farewell to a small piece of who I am. All jewellery items come to you carefully gift-wrapped ready for giving or as a special treat for yourself. International orders are very welcome!
I hope you enjoy wearing a piece of RiverGum Jewellery as much as I have enjoyed creating it.