Rainer Beneke CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE WORKArtist Profile
Work by this Artist
I am a metal jeweller working in silver, copper and gold. I live in an old gold miners village where nearby gold is still mined in small scale operations. I often use local gold, which I refine myself, in my jewellery.
My preferred working processes are forging and various "marriage of metals" techniques. Most of my jewellery is made entirely by hand tools including a hand driven "Archimedes drill". Only a small part of my jewellery is finished with an additional use of a motor polisher.
I mainly make contemporary New Zealand jewellery reflecting my environment and society. But I also take joy in serving my local community with traditional jeweller's duties, i.e. wedding rings, shepherd's whistles etc.
All my work is made in the studio which I built and share with another craftsman. The design of the building is based on old cottages of the district.
I was born in 1954 in Hamburg, Germany, educated as a mechanical engineer and worked for five years as a design engineer in Hamburg. In 1983 I started on extensive travel that took me through Greece, Australia and New Zealand. In October 1984 I immigrated as a permanent as a permanent resident to Dunedin, NZ. In 1988 I settled in Cambrian, a small gold miner's village in central Otago to build my own house and later my workshop. In 1999 I became a New Zealand citizen. Since 1992 I have been a self employed jeweller working from Cambrian.
Other than working in my studio, I enjoy working on my small holding, mountain biking, curling and playing acoustic guitar. My life is strongly enriched through my relationship with my partner, Marianne.
I believe in the simplicity in daily life and that we become richer through wanting and having less, through valuing quality rather than quantity.
I believe in beauty that does not need a description, in the perfection of an imperfect sea shell, in the playfulness of nature.
I like to focus on beauty and harmony to promote positive change. The vastness of my living environment of Central Otago fills me with joy and energy.