Right royal jew­ellery work­shop

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

When Ben Flynn had trou­ble find­ing a ring he liked, he de­cided to take a hands-on ap­proach.

Sit­ting at his kitchen ta­ble, he cre­ated his own ring with the New Zealand mo­tif he was looking for.

“It just snow­balled from there,” he says.

Thir­teen years later, the self-taught artist is cel­e­brat­ing a decade of busi­ness at the Royal Jew­ellery Stu­dio in Kings­land.

His sis­ter My­fanwy Rees found the old the­atre in 1994 and took three years to ren­o­vate it.

Unin­spired by the stu­dio he worked for in the city, Ben moved his work­shop to Royal in 1998.

“I re­ally wanted to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where peo­ple felt comfortable in a re­laxed set­ting,” he says.

He says he also re­alised New Zealand had an im­mense amount of jew­ellery-mak­ing tal­ent.

“There was room in Auck­land for more than one con­tem­po­rary jew­eller.”

To­day, five of the jew­ellery­who were in the open­ing show in 1998 will re­turn with new col­lec­tions.

Al­though he has lived in Kerik­eri with his part­ner and chil­dren for the last five years, Ben re­turns ev­ery fort­night to work in the Kings­land stu­dio.

He says 10 years has “just flown on by”.

“It’s a big achieve­ment for us,” says My­fanwy, who man­ages the stu­dio.

She says it’s also nice to give the jew­ellers who have stayed with them over the years the chance to make spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion works.

“It gives them a free rein to do some­thing that’s a bit more out there.”

Artists show­ing at the ex­hi­bi­tion are Anna Wal­lis, Pene­lope Barn­hill, Ben Flynn, Lisa West and Jane Dodd.

The 10 Years Mak­ing ex­hi­bi­tion at the Royal Jew­ellery Stu­dio runs un­til Novem­ber 6, and is the first of a se­ries of shows run­ning over the sum­mer.

The stu­dio is at 486 New North Rd, Kings­land.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Roy­ally es­tab­lished: Stu­dio man­ager My­fanwy Rees says the old the­atre build­ing was “pretty derelict”.

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