The name “Foundri” has its roots in a large scale Bronze Foundry called Dionysus Sculpture Works. Founders (Elbie Erasmus and Bertie le Roux), were studio artists by trade, doing finishing and building of bronze sculptures under renowned sculptor, Angus Taylor. Both share a passion for art, sculpture and metal work. During their time at DSW, they started experimenting with smaller scale casting and making bronze jewellery using traditional sculpture techniques. It was only toward the end of 2015 that they decided to pursue jewellery making more seriously. A sculptural approach to our jewellery making process in stead of a traditional jewellery-making background adds a distinctly unique feel to Foundri-made pieces.
Today, Foundri’s main focus is silver jewellery, however we will also be introducing designs in precious metals in the near future. Hopefully our products will reflect the honest simplicity and enjoyment with which they were crafted. We enjoy the raw, unpretentious elegance of refined, but unpolished silver . Organic textures combined with geometric lines and composition is one of our signature formal traits.
We have recently introduced a new botanical range in which we make direct castings of actual plant materials. This is done by sourcing specific plants like orchids, and investing them in a type of jeweller’s ceramic. The plant material inside the ceramic is then burned away in a kiln until one is left with an accurate mould of the original flower. One can then cast silver into this ceramic mould and get an exact copy of the plant in silver.
Elbie Erasmus is a Pretoria based fine artist. She was born in 1989 in Windhoek, Namibia where she completed her Secondary education. In 2009 she moved to South Africa to pursue a degree in BA Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria. She started working at Dionysus Sculpture Works in 2013 where she met Bertie le Roux who would be her future business partner and co-founder of Foundri.
In 2016, Elbie co-founded Found Collective, a collective for Pretoria based artists. She is currently a director of Found Collective and Foundri Jewellery whilst pursuing her own Fine art career as well.
Bertie le Roux can be summarized as a nature-loving artistic metallurgist, built in the South African Lowveld in 1984.
Since the age of 13, Bertie has been building forges, furnaces and other metalworking tools to persue various hobbies related to bladesmithing. Moving to Pretoria in 2003 to study Metallurgical Engineering, and later B.Sc. Chemistry, lead to an interesting series of career considerations, starting with metallurgy classes for jewellers at Novus Jewellery Academy in 2009, moving on to professional bladesmithing and artistic metalworking at Heavin Forge between 2010-2011, and ending up as metal casting supervisor at Dionysus Sculpture Works from 2012-2016. The supportive artistic environments at Heavin forge, and then DSW, as well as meeting like minded colleagues such as Elbie, finally lead to taking the leap towards starting his own business in fine metalwork - Foundri, Est. 2016