21 July - 3 September 2016
Craft ACT is honoured to host a pop-up exhibition in the lightbox gallery of personal items on loan from the F!NK + Co extended family of Robbie Foster.
Thank you to all who shared memories and tributes in the condolence book during their visit and via email.
Personal items on loan from the F!NK + Co. extended family of Robbie Foster.
Descriptions of personal items on loan, as told by the F!NK + Co. extended family
Taken out of deep storage, this “hydroforming” tool was made with Robbie for Dan’s Centenary of Canberra production line of platters. As well as this tool, Robbie helped Dan solve a range of problems which meant that the platters could be made – consistently and to a high quality. Dan’s hammer symbolises advice often given by Robbie: “You are not a metal worker until you have made a hammer.”
The F!NK + Co crew
Robbie always had a container of nuts in the F!NK workshop for people to share. This Squash Container contains his most recent nut stash.
This hammer was made during an AustraliaCouncil Mentorship program where Robbie mentored Sean, an early career silversmith at the time. Sean was preparing to set up his own studio so Robbie encouraged him to make some tools, including this hammer. The teapot was a birthday gift from Robbie.
Janel received this special heart from Robbie when she was having a particularly rough day. She was having relationship issues, was home sick, and bummed out. Robbie handed her the heart, gave her the “biggest and most amazing Robbie hug” and shared warm words of encouragement. “He gave me some love in hugs and metal form,” says Janel.
Robbie gave Darren this shiny purple jug as a gift after the first time they successfully “bright-dipped” (polished and coloured) a F!NK + Co jug.
Robbie and Gretel made three belts together: one for Gretel; and one for each of their fathers. These belts were made to bond their families together.
Robbie gave Gretel this perfume bottle for their first Christmas together, 23 years ago. The bangle was a gift from last Christmas.
Louise is Fink and Co.’s graphic designer and this brooch is the result of a collaboration between Robbie and Louise. Together, they designed and made this piece of jewellery for a pop-up typography exhibition, based on the “F” from Fink.
Robbie hand poured this silver ring which was cast in a paper mould, floating on water. Robbie invited Kim to watch the process, but he hadn’t told her the ring was going to be her birthday gift. Robbie made the bangle for Kim as a parting gift when she left her full-time position at F!NK. Kim was pregnant at the time and at first, she remembers, it was a very tight fit.
Robbie’s artistic, making and design skills have been supported over the years by long-time employee Bengt’s production and fabrication skills. Every year, Robbie and Gretel give a F!NK + Co. product of choice to their staff. Bengt chose this light which, at the time, was unassembled with various parts located throughout the F!NK workshop. Bengt remembers that Robbie might have been mildly irritated by his request, but Robbie found and gave the various components of the light to Bengt anyway. Bengt assembled the light especially for this pop-up exhibition.
Robbie hosted forging parties out the back of F!NK on special weekends. Silversmiths, buddies and people who wanted to dig in and have a go were all invited. Everyone would come together to make pieces. On one of these weekends Alison made silversmithing hammers, and Alison remembers Robbie’s encouragement for her to keep pursuing the craft of silversmithing.
The bandolier “utility belt” was one of many objects lying around Robbie’s workshop. During a workshop clean up, the utility belt was going to be thrown away. Danilo asked if he could keep the belt, and of course Robbie obliged.
Please consider making a donation to the CAPO memorial fund for Robert Foster.
See www.capo.org.au for details.