Gem of a gift carves career

Jewellery artist Tineke Van der Eecken, wearing her own designs. Her creations will be featured in the Into Eternity exhibition at the Elements Art Gallery.
Jewellery artist Tineke Van der Eecken, wearing her own designs. Her creations will be featured in the Into Eternity exhibition at the Elements Art Gallery.

Van der Eecken said from the moment she held the gemstones in her hand, she knew she wanted to turn them into jewellery.

When she arrived in Australia in 2001, she saw the opportunity to learn how to make jewellery and having enrolled and completed a course, has been making jewellery with those and natural gemstones ever since.

Van der Eecken’s designs will be exhibited at the Elements Art Gallery in Dalkeith as part of Into Eternity.

Her exhibition runs alongside that of close friends Beba Hall and Jill Ansell’s Desert Dreams and Nocturnal Journeys who invited her to take part.

‘We are part of a women artists’ collective and I received an offer for a mini-exhibition in the other room,’ she said.

‘The theme of Into Eternity relates to our fragile natural environment and the gift of trees and forests.

‘The selection of jewellery in this exhibition uses precious bits of trees and some of the more common but no less amazing local trees’ fruits.’

Also a keen poet, Van der Eecken said she loved working with metal and watching the way it changed form and shape, but working with the preciousness of nature had a special importance for her.

She said it was an exhibition with a difference and would appeal to different groups of people.

‘Collectors of quality art and jewellery will be pleased to find my jewellery, all one-off pieces,’ she said.

‘I hope to share the story about the trees and of course all artists need to sell to continue doing what they do so I also hope to sell work and get to know the people who buy it.’

Van der Eecken, Hall and Ansell will be holding an artist talk and poetry reading at the gallery at 2pm, May 19.

Into Eternity closes on May 26.