Jen Banks

I was born a creator and lover of pretty, shiny things, but it wasn’t until 2002 that I discovered the thrill of working with precious metal. A weekend class to ‘make a ring’ was the beginning of a passion to continually learn new techniques and increase my skill in creating stunning, wearable impressions of the world around her. I studied in both Auckland at Workshop 6, and in Brisbane at the Goldsmiths School.

Making the leap from nature-loving city-slicker to coastal village resident very quickly proved the perfect thing for this nature-inspired jeweller. I found myself surrounded by like-minded artists of many modalities when I joined two art collectives – first at Hammer and Hand in Byron Bay, and then at the Lennox Arts Collective in Lennox Head. Being studio-mates, and friends, with such a variety of artists has enabled my to teach and be taught; to share strengths and contacts; and ensure that living away from the bright-lights and major galleries of larger towns and cities is never isolating.

I am inspired by the world around me – anything from a mossy branch or crashing wave, from a soaring bird to a tiny seed pod, can start my creative cogs whirling. I collect many of mother-nature’s works of art on walks around the shore or bush; and when I find a piece that is too gorgeous to keep to myself, I will cast it in precious metal and work with it to create an original work of wearable art.

Being gentle on the environment is very important to me, so I source all my metal from an Australian firm who manufacture their metal solely from recycled materials – none of it comes straight from a mine.

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