Who are you and where do you come from?
My name is Rina Ferreira-Papenfus and I am the owner of Papenfus Design. I was born and raised in the South African countryside, but have been living in The Hague for the past 22 years. I have my work studio in the attic of my home, where I spend many happy hours.
What do you create and how do you do it?
I make jewellery – mainly from gold and silver. I design and make new pieces, but I also work on commission, for which I often use the old gold of the commissioner.
I use all goldsmith techniques when I create my pieces – sawing, soldering, polishing and many more. The magic of goldsmithing lies in the fact that you experience how wire or sheet changes shape under your hands. You submit the hard metal to your will and experience how it changes form until something unique emerges.
Can you describe your work?
My jewellery pieces are often bold with clean lines, but I also find it satisfying to do intricate work like filigree. My work is characterised by contrast. I use, for example, black oxidised silver combined with gold, matt surfaces combined with shiny or roughened surfaces combined with smooth. My pieces are often a-symmetrical. I sometimes add specks of colour through the use of gem stones, enamel or resin. Pearls often form part of my design because I love their organic feel.
What made you decide to become a goldsmith and did you study for it?
I never liked off-the-shelf jewellery and for many years I sketched jewellery and had it made, but I often found them just not “crooked” or “rough” enough to my liking. Thus, when I saw an exhibition of a hobby course for goldsmithing at the VAK in Delft some years ago, I was sold. However, I soon found out that I wanted more and therefore I decided to enroll for the official Goldsmith Diploma course in Schoonhoven. This is a choice that I have never regretted – I have found my passion.
Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from?
I get my inspiration from my surroundings. I always walk around with my eyes and ears wide open. Sometimes I get inspired by minute moments in nature, like the unfolding of a fern leaf, and sometimes I get caught by the majestic moments in nature, for example the untamed Norwegian landscape. Song texts and word pun could also lead to a new series.
Do you do any other work on the side?
Back in South Africa I was a teacher and in The Netherlands I worked as a language trainer Business English. I continued doing this until two years after I had received my Goldsmith Diploma. However, I discovered that teaching did not leave enough peace and quiet in my head to get the creative juices flowing and therefore I decided to focus entirely on my jewellery line. If I am not stuck behind my work bench, you could find me on the water. Apart from jewellery making, my other passion in life is rowing.
How did you end up at Galerie Zône?
A goldsmith colleague who is befriended with Dorothy Wedderburn told her about me and when an opening for a goldsmith became available, she invited me for a meet up with the members of Zône. I was accepted and have been a member for the past four years.
Would you like to add something?
I am so happy to be partof Galerie Zône. I find the interaction with my colleagues inspiring and the contact with the Zône clients uplifting. May we all get out of this crisis healthy. I look forward to be back in Zône again.