Crafting jewellery with soul with Red Peg in Bega

Gabrielle McGrath focuses on a piece at her workbench wear she creates wearable art.
Gabrielle McGrath focuses on a piece at her workbench wear she creates wearable art.

If you pop into Gabrielle McGrath's RedPeg Eco Studio in Carp Street, Bega, you will probably find her hammering or tapping away at her work bench behind the counter, forging precious metals into wearable art works.

Originally conceived as a Renew the Valley project, RedPeg has withstood the test of time and has been a permanent fixture in the iconic Kings Cinema building on Carp street, Bega for the last seven years.

Originally trained in sculpture, Gabrielle diversified to jewellery design around 10 years ago.

"I've always been passionate about jewellery and body adornment and construct my jewellery in much the same way I would a much larger work," Gabrielle explained.

"My work is made with a sculptor's eye, hand and thought process and when you look at them, my jewellery designs are essentially mini sculptures.

Smelting metal so it can be forged anew as a wearable piece of art.

Smelting metal so it can be forged anew as a wearable piece of art.

"My wearable art is handcrafted with an uncontrived aesthetic; where I find form through texture and pattern and let the materials inherent nature shine through. Working with it, rather than against it."

Gabrielle prefers to use ethically sourced materials, by recycling, upcycling and salvaging metals.

"I work with recycled silver and gold predominately," Gabrielle said.

She tries to minimise her environmental impact and uses natural alternatives to chemicals to clean and polish the jewellery where possible.

"I also love giving new life to old jewellery. Melting down old broken and worn out pieces to create something new and wearable again," she said.

"I'm often asked to recreate precious jewellery that now seems outdated or that has lived its life in the bottom of the jewellery box, into something the person can wear and enjoy every day.

"I also consolidate years of collected old jewellery pieces that are no longer worn into one unique piece, like a big chunky bangle.

"Knowing it's all of your old sentimental jewellery right there on your wrist is a heartening thing for the wearer. "I love the fact precious metal can continuously be recycled, melted down and remade over and over again; its lifespan is infinite."

Gabrielle works on filing down some pieces before finishing them as jewellery.

Gabrielle works on filing down some pieces before finishing them as jewellery.

Being a passionate advocate for creative living, Gabrielle encourages everyone to explore the Art Trails and other events happening during Art Month in August.

RedPeg Eco Studio is open Tuesday to Friday from 9.30am to 3pm.

This story Forging jewellery with soul at RedPeg first appeared on Bega District News.