We had the good fortune of connecting with Robin Black Walder and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robin Black, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
BlackBird Jewelry arose from the idea of spreading Awareness Through Adornment. Using my artistic expression to inspire personal growth, spiritual uplifting and bring attention to issues that affect the Earth and its inhabitants. I do so by creating fundraising campaigns for organizations that work to help and bring about change.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have always been entranced with nature, primitive cultures and symbolism and this is reflected in my jewelry creations. I dove into learning the ancient art of jewelry and metal smithing in 1995 and have watched my evolution as a designer unfold over the past 25 years. I truly began to blossom as an artist when I started practicing lost wax carving and casting. Holding a solid block of wax and letting go. Allowing designs to flow through my hands expressing my interpretation of the world around me. In the beginning I was a young women looking to ground myself in confidence. I began exploring meditation and pilates and started hand knotting my signature BackBeads. A simple lariat strand of gemstones and silk used for meditation and posture awareness. BackBeads are still a part of my collection today. As I grew and started to align my spirit with nature, my carvings became unique with symbolism. For instance, a collection of small dog tags with ancient Tao symbols representing the elements were daily reminders to stay connected to my breath, passions, growth & vocal fluidity. This is when my tag line ‘Awareness through adornment’ arose, as I hoped those that wore my creations would use them as a tool for personal and spiritual growth. As I have matured , married and given birth to 3 children my inner voice has also developed. I now use my carvings to speak up for the voiceless and for injustice. My recent work has grown with fine details using different metals , patina and sometimes intricate bead work. Collections, like my Sea Life Reflections, bring attention to the beauty and decimation of our oceans. Simple hand carved medallion figurines of manatee, sharks , dolphins , sea horse , and starfish to name a few. Each carving sparks up a conversation about conservation when worn. There certainly have been bumps in the road. In 2015 I discovered I had a meningioma brain tumor behind my right eye. After a craniotomy , I lost the use of my vision for many months and used my small detailed carving to retrain my eyes. This enlightened look at my own mortality set me on the path to give back. Since 2015 I have been using my carvings and jewelry for fundraising. Joining forces with different campaigns protecting animals, the Earth and children with life threatening illnesses. The year 2020, like for most of us, has been challenging as a sole proprietor artist. My three children are home full time in virtual school , weekend Green Markets have closed and the unrest in our country has me searching for the empty mind and inner peace necessary to let go and create. As I approach my 50th birthday in December I hold tight to my vision of growth. I have learned that sometimes creativity pauses and life feels chaotic but after the noise settles a new clarity unfolds. On my work bench today is my newest wax carving. A large circular humming bird medallion. She is realistic on one side and tribal – cave drawing inspired on the other … Symbolic of joy, lightheartedness and adaptability. A positive mindset I hope to reimagine in the coming new year.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A visit to Jupiter, Florida in Northern Palm Beach county is always delightful. This little ocean side town is the perfect balance of nature and sophistication. I would definitely book our ocean front rooms at Jupiter Island Resort and Spa. We could wake up for a sunrise meditation and walk along the shoreline of the Atlantic ocean. We could sit out on the deck overlooking the pool for morning coffee and indulge in the yummy breakfast buffet. Then get pampered with massage and an afternoon at the spa. Days spent visiting the jupiter lighthouse, hiking and kayaking through Riverbend park. Evening strolls through Harbourside Place and relaxing water front listening to live music at Guanabanas Island Restaurant. Jupiter is known for ecotourism and we would have an amazing time renting paddle boards at Paddle the Point. Using their expert guides to learn about the dynamic ecosystem of the local intracoastal waters and rivers one day and enjoying yoga with goats the next. No visit to Jupiter is complete without eating at the famous and delicious Food Shack Restaurant. Definitely a visit to remember always.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
No shoutout would be complete without first thanking my parents. My mom a lifelong potter and my dad an engineer/ inventor. They both planted a creative spark and then encouraged my growth in any direction I chose. I believe that starting to meditate and my introduction to the Tao Te Ching in 2000 ignited my vision for the BlackBird Jewelry I am still growing into today.