Jewels in his music

HE is known as Jacob the Jeweller and can be found in his tiny jewellery booth in the Feros Arcade.

But, for Jacob Bravenboer, music has played an equally important role in his creative life.

"My parents were both potters and my mother was a pianist," he said. "I started playing the violin when I was a young child."

After emigrating from New Zealand to Australia, Jacob studied at the Victorian College of the Arts and has also been teaching students violin since he was a teenager.

"Jacob the Jeweller" at his Byron Bay workshop. Megan Kinninment

He moved to Byron Shire 22 years ago and established string instrument tuition at both Mullumbimby and Byron Bay Rudolf Steiner schools, alongside his passion for jewellery.

"For me music and jewellery making are different aspects of the same thing. They are both about resonance," he said.

"I make an alloy of different metals the same way I make a musical chord - to create resonance."

Jacob first learnt jewellery making as a child in New Zealand when a renowned jade carver moved into his hometown of Puhoi.

"I was 10 and I asked if I could see his workshop," he said.

"The first object I made was a knife with an antler handle. My first piece of jewellery was a jade disc."

From this early apprenticeship, Jacob went on to teach himself the alchemic craft of jewellery making and has exhibited his more sculptural metal work in Japan.

It was to Byron Shire that Jacob travelled to to prepare for this exhibition and, like many creative artists before and since, he stayed on in the Northern Rivers.

When Jacob talks of jewellery, he talks with reverence.

"For me the end product is not what is important - it is just the evidence of the experience you have had making; the learning that has occurred," he said.

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