Undercurrent Masthead
ben profile shot

Free-form gems and diamonds

Emma Macdonald

A Canberra jewellery designer is bringing home the gold – and diamonds.

Canberra jeweller Ben Preston-Black has taken out a national jewellery design award for coloured gemstone rings –  inspired by his signature free-form style.

The Creations Canberra jeweller used just over half a carat of diamonds to set off a stunning 4.48 carat Tanzanian Pink Zircon and forged the ring in 18 carat rose gold and palladium before naming it “All wrapped up”. It evolved in Ben’s head and hands over a three-week period, without a plan or drawings to guide him.

CDA21562-DD3D-4360-86A6-121BA0B67A1F

Ben’s award-winning ring.

“I loved creating it – that’s the best part about hand-making jewellery is that you can let it take you anywhere you want.”

The Jewellery Design Awards are held in Sydney annually and jewellers are judged on originality of the design, creativity and innovation, practicality in producing the actual piece, wear-ability of the final product and the commercial aspect of the finished piece.

Ben was also a finalist in the Diamond Award for his ring “Balancing Act”.

FullSizeRender

Ben was a finalist for this diamond ring.

This is the second award Creations Jewellers has won in 2017, after receiving a win in the accessory category in the Jewellery Magazine awards, in May.

Ben was also invited to judge in this year’s Jewellery Association of Australia Awards, which he described as an honour.

A jeweller since the age of 17, Ben has spent 20 years refining his own style which now earns him commissions from around the country, and – due to the advent of social media – internationally.

“Our Instagram account has led to some international commissions from people who like the free-form designs that I create.”

Creations is a family business and Ben undertook his formal qualifications at the Design Centre in Enmore before undertaking an apprenticeship with Creations jeweller Spencer Van Graan. They continue to work side-by-side today.

“I love the jewellery industry – I find it the best combination of an art form and commercial business. I get to create something beautiful and then sell it usually very shortly after. Not a lot of artists get to realise that financial benefit in their careers.”

All Wrapped Up is now for sale at Creation Jewellers in Manuka, Shop 5, Style Arcade, Franklin Street, for $11,900.

user

Emma Macdonald

Emma Macdonald has been writing about Canberra and its people for more than 20 years, winning numerous awards for her journalism - including a Walkley or two - along the way. Canberra born and bred, she’s fiercely loyal to the city, tribally inner-north, and relieved the rest of the country is finally recognising Canberra’s cool and creative credentials. More about the Author