Gidgegannup silversmith carries on family tradition


Gidgegannup jeweller Bethamy Linton inside her small studio shed in Gidgegannup.
Gidgegannup jeweller Bethamy Linton inside her small studio shed in Gidgegannup.

GROWING up around the smell of grease and metal in her father’s workshop was a rite of passage for fourth generation jeweller Bethamy Linton.

The Gidgegannup silversmith spent hours in the Linton family workshops and when her creativity blossomed at the age of 16, she sought an apprenticeship in fine jewellery.

“I remember rummaging around in my father’s workshop and finding bits of silver and figurines when I was very young,” she said.

Linton’s father John extended the cutlery lines made by her grandfather Jamie, who took over in the ‘30s from her great-grandfather James Walter Robert Linton, an influential British painter and teacher who established the first family workshop in 1908 and founded the WA Linton School of Art.

JWR Linton lived in Parkerville until 1947 and his contribution to the arts in the early 20th century extended to a curatorial post with the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

Linton silverware has been acquired for the collections of the British and Danish Royal families, The Australian National Gallery and several state galleries.

With artistic linage also on her mother’s side (sculptor-artist Lina Linton), Linton said choosing a creative pathway was the natural choice.

She lives with her partner and two-year-old son on a hobby farm of chooks and sheep, and works out of a small shed where she draws inspiration from the rural surroundings.

“We moved here about four years ago and it has been lovely to find this kind of community,” she said.

As a collector of ‘things’, Linton said her small studio overflows with an eclectic mix of the tools and materials of her trade.

Locally, Mundaring Art Gallery and Taylors Art and Coffee House in Middle Swan exhibit her collections and bespoke pieces are available at Aspects of Kings Park.

Handmade creations to adorn the body and table feature items made in titanium, her metal of choice selected for its strength and reflective colour.

Engagement and wedding jewellery is a commission staple for any jeweller and she shares the family passion for bespoke tableware.

“I’d love to create a set of contemporary tableware, that’s definitely on my wish list,” she said.

Linton said survival as an artist requires adaptability, a skill she teaches at North Metro Tafe where she guides her jewellery students in the art of communication.

“Like any artist, you need to find your audience and the way we connect with people is very different to 25 years ago,” she said.

“Social media has changed everything.”

Linton’s work will feature in an exhibition from December 10 to January 7 at Margaret River Gallery in Margaret River.