Peter Deckers (lr)

Peter Deckers, a Dutch-born New Zealander, is a multi-functional jewellery activist: i.e. educator, organiser, curator, writer, editor, jewellery maker and contemporary artist. Peter is the jewellery coordinator and a part-time art lecturer at Whitireia NZ, Porirua. Ideas that make distinctive conceptual connections with jewellery are the inspiration for his practice, which includes his making processes, and is often expressed as installation work. He founded and developed the award-winning HANDSHAKE project, an international mentor and exhibition programme for emerging New Zealand makers (2011–present). This unique project has inspired the international art careers of many NZ emerging art jewellers.


As artist Deckers’ exhibits with galleries throughout New Zealand and internationally. His work, philosophy and ideas have also been the subject of a book, ‘Choices of the Hand; a Survey of Work from New Zealand Jeweller Peter Deckers’, introduction by Stevan Eldred-Grigg, published by First Editions, Wellington (supported by Creative New Zealand).

His practice extends into curatorial projects. Notable ones are Deep and Deeper Still, Jewellery Out of Context in Sydney and JOC/JOC world tour), HandStand and currently Handshake Project.  In February 2012 Peter was the artistic director and organiser for an international jewellery symposium, called Jemposium, supported by Creative NZ.  Jemposium was associated with an extensive national exhibition programme. See also JEM blog for more details, photos of the event, radio/tv interviews and reviews) .

Peter Deckers’ keynote address at the JMGA conference in Brisbane (Participation and Exchange) 12 – 14 July 2013: -Interactive PARTNERS- lecture with images, Peter Deckers







Exhibitions (selected):

1989 Environmental Distortions, gallery 33 1/3, Wellington

1996-2012 Fingers Annual Exhibition, Fingers, Auckland

1996-97 The Same but Different, 2nd NZ jewellery Biennial, Dowse Art Museum, Hutt City, Auckland, Dunedin

1998-99 Turangawaewae,  3rd NZ Jewellery Biennial, Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, Napier, Dunedin

1999 Deep and Deeper Still  Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt and Eon, Auckland

2000-02 Grammar: Objects and Subjects, 4th NZ Jewellery Biennial, Dowse Art Museum, Hutt City, national tour to museums in New Plymouth, Auckland, Dunedin, Napier

2001-04 Guild Unlimited with the installation the Reproduction Guild ,Craft Victoria, Melbourne; Te Manawa Museum, Palmerston North

2002-2005 Greetings from Maori-land , exhibition sound/jewellery installation, Auckland University, Auckland; Lobdell House Titirangi; Expressions Upper Hutt

2003-04 Shut-Up series: installations in KitschORama and in Dutch Artists, Pataka Museum, Porirua

2005 Customised, a survey of jewellery, by Peter Deckers, Pataka Museum, Porirua

2006 Mourning Jewellery from the Chernobyl collection, Sherman Galleries, Sydney

2006 Stolen Jewels, Fingers, Auckland

2007 Far Sight, Object Space, Auckland

2008 Like, objects of text, curated by Stella Chrysostomou, with Bill Manheim and others. Suter Gallery, Nelson

2010 Danner Rotunda Die Neue Sammlung – group exhibition curated by Karl Fritsch, The International Design Museum Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany

2010-11 Pocket Guide to New Zealand Jewelry (US travelling show) Velvet Davinci San Franciscol Society of Arts and Crafts – Boston; Racine Art Museum Racine, USA

2010 The Beauty Patch and The Pleasure Beast in MOVING TARGETS, two consecutive ThinkSpace exhibitions, Masterworks, Auckland

2011 The SeeHere show, member’s group exhibition with Shadow Makeweights installation, Masterworks, Auckland

2011 SATELLITE poster-work for GIVE &TAKE (Pleasure Beast), two simultaneous exhibitions at Auckland Art Fair 2011 and the SeeHere, Wellington (solo exhibitions)

2012 Retrospect, travelling group exhibition, Pah homestead, Auckland and Wallace Gallery Morrinsville

2012 Jewelism, Fingers, group exhibition

Publications (selected):

1999 100 NZ Craft Artists, Schamroth, H. Random House New Zealand, Auckland

2004 1000 Rings/ editor; Marthe Le Van, introduction by Robert Ebendorf, Lark books, New York

2005 Customised, a survey of jewellery, by Peter Deckers, 2005, First Editions, Wellington

2005 – 2012 (co editor/writer/producer) Whitireia jewellery catalogues: Origins (2005), Dressing Up (2006), Drawn (2007), Forgery (2008), Cameo (2009), What Is (2010), The Complete Question Mark (2011), (See catalogues in PDF),

2006 Choices of the Hand, a survey of work by New Zealand jeweller Peter Deckers, introduction by Stevan Eldred-Grigg, First Editions, Wellington

2006 Jewellery Out of Context (JOC), publication, 2006, First Editions, Wellington

2007 Jewellery Out of Context (JOC world tour), catalogue edited by D Wood, Astra Print, Wellington

2007 500 Earrings, Larks Books, New York

2007 500 Wedding Rings, Larks Books, New York

2008 500 Pendants and Lockets, Larks Books, New York

2009 Handstand: Unfamiliar and Innovative Contemporary Jewellery, exhibition catalogue, editor Peter Deckers, Wellington

2009 On Location, making stories: siting, citing, sighting, ed Karin Findeis, JMGA, Sydney

2009 The Compendium Finale of Contemporary Jewellers ‘2008’, Andy Lim, Co-edited by Pforzheim Museum of Jewellery and Coda Museum Apeldoorn, Darling Publications, Munich

2009 500 Plastic Jewelry Designs, Lark Books, New York

2010 Pocket Guide to New Zealand Jewelry, dr Damian Skinner, Velvet Davinci, San Francisco

2011 21st Century Jewelry: The Best of the 500 Series, Marthe Le Van (co-judging and participation), Lark Books

2012 500 Rings New Directions in Art Jewelry (500 Series), Bruce Metcaff/Marthe Le Van

Other (selected):

1981 – 1985 Founding member LIMITS workshop and gallery collective, Rotterdam / Den Briel (NL)

1981 – 1985 Part-time teaching at the Werkschuit, Gouda, The Netherlands 

1985 Emigrated to New Zealand 

1988 – continue Whitireia New Zealand, jewellery coordinator/program leader, senior tutor (part time)

1993 Two Worlds, Deckers, P., Craft New Zealand magazine, issue 45, pp12-13 (feature article)

1999 Deep and Deeper Still, curation, organisation and catalogue of rings in fishbowls, exhibition and catalogue, Lower Hut and Auckland

1999 – 2000 Board member Craftinfo Organisation (Nga Taonga Hine-te-iwa-iwa)

2003 Nose rubbing with Otto, Deckers P., Lemmel magazine, Australia (writer)

2004 Art news, Corner, K, Wellington, New Zealand, summer 2004, p 21

2005 Customised, a survey of jewellery, by Peter Deckers, 2005, First Editions, Wellington ( )

2005 Spot Line on Peter Deckers, editorial, House and Garden Magazine, September 2005, p66

2005 Inherited futures: technology to trap ideas JMGA Conference –, Baines, R. & Errey, S. RMIT Press, Melbourne (speaker and exhibiter)

2005 Jewellery in the Crown, Amery M, review article, Dominium Post, Wellington 23-09, B16

2006 JMGA On location: making stories, JMGA conference, Sydney. Jewellery In and Out of context, a hybrid view, conference paper delivered at the JMGA conference, publication of the paper: Sydney University Press  (speaker and exhibitor)

2006 – 07 Jewellery Out of Context (JOC world tour) Curation, organisation and catalogue: 4 International exhibitions and 2 publications/catalogues Aus, NZ, Canada, Holland ( ) (Creative New Zealand grant)

2008 Wallis Art Trust, public collection, Auckland  (see also Retrospect in Auckland and Retrospect in Wellington)

2009 Handstand, Unfamiliar and Innovative Contemporary Jewellery, Curation, organisation. Exhibition and catalogue, Auckland 

2010 The Founding member of the SeeHere gallery and website ( ), Wellington

2011 Handshake, Prentice and Prodigy, project: 12 mentees select 12 mentors, for a mentor and exhibition project ( funded by Creative New Zealand)

2012 JEMPOSIUM – jewellery or what, symposium Wellington 10 – 13 Feb 2012( ), artistic director and organiser  (funded by Creative New Zealand)

2012 Ringmaster, feature article by Mark Amery, the Listener March 10-16 2012  

2012 Curator’s  travel and stipend grant (Creative NZ) to  Schmuck and Talente, Munich

2012 Publication Grant (Creative NZ) for Handshake catalogue 



4 Responses to founder

  1. It is very nice that successful a Dutch initiative like Walking the Gray Area has inspired others to similar projects. These kind of exchanges via a massive media such as the internet are of great interest for a varied audience ans highly stimulating on for jewellery artists from distant regions. Congratulations and success!

  2. Ruth Robertson-Taylor says:

    looks like an amazing project

  3. JoAnna Mere says:

    With Handshake, Peter Deckers has created a vehicle for contemporary apprenticeship (in any discipline) that will transport mentee and mentor alike along the road of creative success. The exponential increase from the initial act of giving is an incredible vision of sharing. A handshake becomes ‘hands clasped around the world’.

    “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal”. – Albert Pine

    1 Thessalonians 5:11, Luke 6:38

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