Interview with jewellery artist Tineke Van der Eecken

Sep 9, 2021 | Gemstones, Interviews | 0 comments

Tineke Van der Eecken is a jewellery artist and author born in Flanders, Belgium who now resides in Fremantle, Western Australia.

Ms Van der Eecken has been designing and exhibiting jewellery in Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom for over 15 years.

Born in 1967 in Belgium, Ms Van der Eecken grew up with a love of art and culture.

Ms Van der Eecken has lived and worked in many countries and travelled to remote parts of the world.

She first discovered her love of jewellery in the 1990s in Zambia where she came across some beautiful stones of amethyst, citrine and clear quartz.

When she moved to Australia Ms Van der Eecken studied Jewellery Design and Fabrication at TAFE WA and very soon developed her own style.

Ms Van der Eecken’s inspiration comes from her Flemish grandmother who used to make lace and taught her complex crochet and knitting.

Ms Van der Eecken is also an accomplished writer and creates poetry and travel memoirs.

Ms Van der Eecken travels frequently, mostly in WA these days, and goes on long walks and when allowed picks up and collects shapes that can be cast.

She also likes to find beautiful stones from WA or elsewhere in the world.

She received some moving and inspiring feedback from a client once where a bark ring she made for them, was used for a proposal.

Ms Van der Eecken describes her collections as diverse and varied.

Her collections range from wearable pendants and rings to many solid silver and gold pieces with often irregular stones and natural elements.

Sustainable jewellery making is very important to Ms Van der Eecken. 

Ms Van der Eecken says the best part about being a jewellery maker is being able to “create something that has meaning, to connect with nature, and for others to connect with what is precious to them.”

She says all of her work revolves around the vulnerability of the environment and cohabitation with animals.

Ms Van der Eecken’s work is primarily traditional, using jewellery–making techniques such as setting stones and doing ‘organic casting’ to recreate original forms from nature in metal.

Ms Van der Eecken says the work she creates celebrates nature in its untouched form, using uncut stones, including low-tech processes such as crochet wire, re-using gold, silver and copper. 

She uses lace-like fine wire, knuckle bones and shapes of skulls as well as precious metals and stones such as tourmalines to emulate the uniqueness of our environment here in Western Australia.

Recently Ms Van der Eecken has been working towards small sculptures, some wearable, others just as objects.

Ms Van der Eecken says “In the past few years, ever since I did a residency at Symbiotica, I have been working with biological art, to create plastinated forms from arterial or arboreal systems, which is taking me on another journey.”


Ms Van der Eecken has a number of exhibitions coming up towards the end of this year including Full Circle which involves 20 female artists’ who have work on display at Ellis House in Bayswater, September 11-26, 2021.

As part of the Indian Ocean Craft Triennial, Ms Van der Eecken will also be involved in Counterpoint, Stala Contemporary, which features 21 JMGA WA members from November 3-19, 2021.

Ms Van der Eecken will also show her work in Tributaries, a solo exhibition at Mundaring Arts Centre between November 6 – December 19, 2021.

Photo supplied: Tineke Van der Eecken, Fauna Australis Pendant, 2021. Oxydized silver, Mesoproterozoic tourmaline and quartz cluster slice, rutile quartz, cast python vertebra. 100 x 60 x 8mm. Photo Yasmin Egthesadi.