Scoop Review of Books

Release: Tony Smith Goldsmith

Tony Williams Goldsmith

goldsmith-coverTony Williams Goldsmith reflects the life’s work of an exceptional craftsman, who for 40 years has been one of the most distinctive jewellers working in New Zealand.

Drawing on the great traditions of jewellery-making, Tony Williams has honed his skills in goldsmithing, gemology and enameling to create an original body of work that defies categorization. As silversmith Kobi Bossard has written, this work is not bound by ‘the conventions of either “traditional jewellery” or “contemporary jewellery”’.

It makes its own statement about the place of jewellery and fine craftsmanship today and in the past. Tony Williams’ skill as a master craftsman is evident in all his pieces – from small dragon sculptures to exquisite dragonfly brooches, bold necklaces, bracelets and magnificent rings. His pieces reference the great jewellerymaking traditions – of medieval and Renaissance craftsmen, of the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movement. They also reflect the influence of the natural world and his New Zealand heritage.

Tony Williams Goldsmith makes a significant contribution to the history of this country’s creative entrepreneurship. The book features an insightful essay by New Zealand poet and novelist Emma Neale on Tony Williams’ life and work, and an appraisal by art and craft historian Rigel Sorzano placing this jewellery-making in its creative context. Over 200 photographs illustrate the jewellery, with some drawings and photographs that document the making of the pieces.

Tony Williams Goldsmith is a remarkable account of a creative journey, the record of a lifetime’s commitment to artistic excellence – and a stunning visual narrative.

Tony Williams Goldsmith will be launched at the Dunedin Public Library on Thursday 5 th July at 5.15 pm and at Unity Books in Wellington on Tuesday 17th July at 5.30 pm.


About Tony Williams

Tony Williams grew up in Wellington and trained at Birmingham School of Jewellery in the 1970s, graduating with honours. After working for leading jewellers in London, he returned to New Zealand and established his own jewellery workshop in Dunedin. There he trained apprentices, taught jewellery-making classes, contributed to shows in the Dunedin Fashion Week, and participated in many exhibitions over the years. His work has been exhibited in a range of New Zealand galleries and museums as well as selling in London at Aspreys and Electrum Gallery. He has been marketed in Australia where his work has been commissioned by leading Australian retailers and is held in a number of private collections.

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