My creative space.
My name is Robyn and I live on a 2½ acre property not far from the historic Emu Bottom homestead in Sunbury, Victoria, Australia, with my gorgeous husband Stuart and two Jack Russell terriers, Jack and Ellie. We are ‘empty-nesters’, our daughter and son now adults leading their own, very exciting lives.
I absolutely adore living in this semi-rural spot with its kangaroos, echidnas and birdlife despite seeing the occasional snake or nasty ant or spider. My career path has been varied, starting off with a degree in Theology and a Diploma in Education and Pianoforte, playing piano and teaching music. These days I help my husband daily with bookkeeping, teach my piano students after school and make jewellery in between.
My interest in jewellery making began when my daughter left home at 18 to study music theatre in WA, another state of Australia that is four hours by plane from where we live. I was heavily involved in her music activities, taking her to singing and dancing classes around Melbourne and I knew there would be a huge hole to fill when she left. My niece arrived from across the country with a little box of beads and some jewellery tools. She was inspired by her friend. I was inspired by her and I haven't looked back. There is always a challenge and something new to learn. Several years ago I did a Stone Setting course at Northern Metropolitan Institute of Technology and this has set my work off in a new direction.
Much of my creative process comes while sitting peacefully in my studio with my metal and gemstones with some soulful jazz music playing in the background. An idea starts to form, time stops and a new creation begins. Lately I have taken to pen and paper, drawing designs to scale and then transcribing the design onto cardboard to gauge how it will look and sit.
My inspiration often comes from designing a piece that suits the style of clothing that I am currently wearing. I love layering and love earthy colours and many of my designs have been made as part of my wardrobe first, before they are seen in my shop. I prefer simple pieces with easy, fluid lines. I try and test each piece for durability and ease of wear. If it doesn’t sit right and needs constant adjusting it goes back to the design board.
I try not to look at other people’s work or be swayed by what is in fashion.
The name ‘RiverGum’ came about through an intersection of ideas and events – my love of semi-precious stones created in and by the earth over many years, a beautiful old gum tree at the front of our property that we can see from every window and the name of the paint we were using on our pergola at the time . For me, the name evokes a feeling of timelessness, enduring and long-lasting, the kind of qualities I would like for my jewellery pieces.
When I am not creating a new piece, I love to read and listen to music. I always have a book on the go (I average at least a book a week so I am always on the lookout for a new author) and there is always music playing in the house and studio. Gardening is also a passion. We have an indigenous garden. It has been lots of years in the making and design, battling the elements, clay and rocky soil, and the rabbits, but it is great to see it take shape.
Finally, I love travelling with my husband, something we have been able to do since the family have left home. Overseas or a day in the country, it doesn’t matter. I feel so inspired and refreshed when I return.
You can watch a little bit of my process and my surrounds in the viseo on this page. It was filmed and edited by my very clever friend Liz from hundredsofbuttons.etsy.com for an ABC Open project called Makers and Creators.
- Accepts Etsy gift cards
Returns & exchanges
- Custom or personalized orders
- To communicate with you about your order
- To fulfill your order
- For legal reasons (like paying taxes)
Frequently asked questions
Shipping for Australian customers
All shipping within Australia now has tracking on all parcels. Express post and Signature on Delivery are also available on checkout.
Shipping for International customers
Parcels for International customers are shipped by Australia Post but the least expensive economy shipping does not have tracking though I am happy to say that I haven't lost a parcel yet!!! If you prefer to track your item, and I would highly recommend this for more expensive purchases, International Tracking is now available on checkout. Parcels generally take from 7 to 14 business days to arrive.
Gift wrapping and packaging
I love sending out my jewellery in my signature black & white boxes.The postage is a little more expensive than a flat envelope but I know your jewellery will arrive safely and undamaged. However, some of my items are suitable to post in flat packaging. If you would like to save on postage, ask me if the item can be safely sent out in a flat envelope. If it can, I will be happy to change the postage costs for you.
I will ship to the address provided by Etsy but if you would like your item shipped to a different address just let me know during the checkout process or by convo. I am also very happy to gift wrap and include a handwritten message.
Refunds and Exchanges
Your purchase will be packed very carefully to ensure your item arrives safely.
Should any item reach you in damaged condition, please let me know at once. Also, if you’re unhappy with your purchase for any reason, please contact me. I want you to be happy with your order and I will do whatever I can to work with you for a resolution.
Refunds or exchanges are made on a case-by-case basis only.
Returns should be in new and unused condition and carefully packaged, as I will not be able to accept returns which have been damaged in transit. All initial and return shipping costs are non-refundable.
If your package does not arrive within the expected time frame, please contact me. I like to wait 30 days from the date of shipping within Australia and 6 weeks internationally before I consider the parcel lost. I will then be happy to refund or replace the item.