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Ashburton Art Gallery

327 West St

Ashburton | 7700

P | 03 308 1133

E |

Gallery Hours

Open Daily: 10am - 4pm

Wednesday: 10am - 7pm

Closed Good Friday, Anzac Morning and Christmas day



Artist Chat – Adele Stewart

September 2, 2021

Adele Stewart is a jeweller based in Hokitika. She has been involved in the jewellery and gem stone industry for sixteen years, collaborating with New Zealand’s top designers and making her own wearable artworks. Daintiness is a hallmark of Adele’s jewellery. Taking direct inspiration from her love of flowers, Adele’s creations take the form of delicate bluebells, snowdrops, and foxgloves.

At Ashburton Art Gallery, we are fortunate to stock Adele’s whimsical pieces. We reached out to Adele to see how she has spent her lockdown, and are delighted to share a glimpse into Adele’s practice with our audience.

Image Credit: Adele Stewart. Sourced from Adele’s website – Adele Stewart Maker.


Adele’s lockdown project has been a continuation of her artistic work. In our discussion with Adele, she shared the process of how she utilises scrap gold to make jewellery. Firstly, the scrap gold is melted down. To do this, Adele used a crucible and propane touch. A crucible is usually made from graphite or porcelain, as the materials are ideal to melt and cast non-ferrous metals – such as gold, silver, aluminium, and brass – as they are non-reactive and can withstand extremely high temperatures. The propane torch is gradually directed towards the gold to melt the metal. As the torch transfers heat, the gold will melt and spread through the crucible. In this step, one must be sure to evenly direct the torch throughout the crucible to ensure the metal melts consistently.  Once fully liquefied, the gold is rolled out. In this rolled form, the material is ready to turn into anything – think of all the delightful possibilities! In the pair of grid images below, you can see how Adele goes through these steps.



Image Credit: Adele Stewart melts down scrap gold in a crucible to reuse in her creations. Supplied August 2021.


Lately, Adele has been focusing on creating cherry blossom jewellery set with pink sapphires. Adele’s recent creation is certainly a graceful rendering of cherry blossoms. We are of the opinion that the cherry blossom earrings are a lovely nod to the beginning of spring.

Image Credit: Adele Stewart Maker. Cherry blossom earrings set with blue sapphires. Supplied August 2021


Adele’s lovely, botanical pieces can be found in the Gallery’s gift shop. The Gallery staff are delighted to have been given the opportunity to gain insight into Adele’s practice. We hope you have similarly enjoyed the glimpse into the intricacy of jewellery making.

If you would like to purchase anything from the Gallery shop, please send us an email at We will be in touch as soon as we have access to our store once more.