Geraldine Fenn

Contemporary jeweller based in Jo’burg

I am a contemporary jeweller based in Jo’burg, where I have my studio and I’m a partner in Tinsel Gallery, where we exhibit work by the country’s best contemporary jewellers. I studied jewellery design at the tech in Durban, after doing a BA in Archaeology at Wits, and a few years ago I went back to Wits to do an Honours in Art History and then a Masters in Fine Art. I’ve participated in and curated several group shows of jewellery and fine art, and two solo shows.

In terms of style, my pieces are often quite layered and figurative and I like to use motifs associated with historical jewellery that is overtly sentimental.

I generally work with precious materials – silver, gold, diamonds, pearls and other precious stones – as well as less traditional materials such as plastics and found objects. Craftsmanship is very important to me, and I hand-make my pieces using traditional goldsmithing techniques.

I have been involved in teaching both at Stellenbosch University and the University of Johannesburg; I have been a judge for many years on the 2thuka Jewellery Awards and on last year’s inaugural South African Contemporary Jewellery Awards; and I have written pieces on local contemporary jewellery published in Metalsmith magazine and Wanted magazine.

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