Island sensitivity, inspiration suits goldsmith

September 14, 2016

I have always liked doing profile articles. I love to hear what ‘makes people tick’ and to relay the information to others.

The following is one of these profiles:

Gulf Islands Driftwood

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Island sensitivity, inspiration suits goldsmith

by Tanya Lester

Martin Ebbers is exactly where he wants to be.

he island’s latest German goldsmith import re-located his studio last fall to a house across from ArtSpring’s upper parking lot on the road to Mouat Park.

Ebbers explained that he prefers this to being in a shop where he played the role of a businessman more than concentrating on creating jewellery.

But it goes deeper than that.

Ebbers’ smile comes straight  his eyes while he recalls a young couple who made their way his studio — then located on Beddis Road — during the summer. They were “messy and sweaty” even compared to Salt Spring’s dressed down standards.

He was uneasy while they looked over every ring, bracelet , necklace, brooch and earring in his elegantly lit display cases. (The gold and precious gem jewellery ranges from $250 to $11,000).

Finally, they told him they were looking for wedding rings.

It turned out the Calgary students had kayaked into Ganges Harbour and found Ebbers’ name at the Tourist Info Centre. The woman’s doctoral thesis is on platinum refining. They were looking for wedding rings that would suit their individuality and when they found out Ebbers could do it for them in 10 days, they made their purchase.

Ebbers admired how they were able to communicate with only eye contact as they chose rings to suit their personalities.

“I have never experienced this kind of thing before: so personal,” said Ebbers, who has 30 years experience. “I was expecting to have rich people complaining all the time.”

He is delighted at how this way of doing business makes him feel that he is finally at home. “Anywhere else I lived I felt it was only temporary,” he said.

Those places included Vancouver, where he lived for a couple of years before moving here. People who approached him had a “bling-bling” mentality. They were much more interested in the size of the stone than the artistic beauty of a piece.

Ebbers is happy to now be surrounded by artists who appreciate the sensitivity he puts into his work. The island’s ocean setting is inspiring gold designs that look like sand with white pearls symbolizing clouds, for example. In Germany, he explained, straight lines and angles are much more the norm. Now, spirals and circular designs are flowing into his pieces

Still, Ebbers appreciates the rigorous German apprenticeship training he underwent beginning when he was 15 years old. “Technique repetition meant it became second nature,” said Ebbers. “Learning the craft means when you have the artistic vision later on, you can realize it.”

If someone is interested in having Ebbers design a particular piece, he will sit down and talk with them before creating three coloured designs from which they choose one.

His work desk is jammed full with steel implements that start at the size of nails and go up to the size of a hammer. It might take him 10 hours to make a ring and three to five days to create a bracelet. What he works with for the majority of the time is melding the gold into the shape of the piece. He uses a variety of tools while the gold sits on a chunk of beech wood the and shape of a door stop.

As a master goldsmith, Ebbers also offers classes in Martinus Studio, which is named in memory of his favourite aunt’s pet name for him.

He believes those most suited to do this work should have a three-dimensional imagination. That means designing something on paper, but also being able to visualize the part of the design that cannot be seen with the eye, that is, the back of the ring.

Being a good goldsmith means combining creativity with learned skills.

“You can’t be an artist without the skills and you can’t be skilled without the imagination,” said Ebbers….


Tanya is also a psychic who specializes in tea leaf reading, tarot, mediumship, Russian gypsy cards and psychic channelling with over 20 years experience. She is also a fulltime house sitter and a reiki master. Her web site is:  She also has pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Twitter. Tanya’s email address is Her phone number is 250-538-0086.

To read other posts in this blog go to and

Tanya’s published books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader (for purchase from the author or from, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters and Women Rights/Writes.













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