Robin Black Walder’s background is as eclectic as her designs. Her passions run deep for marine conservation and the voiceless animals on our earth. Drawing and sculpting sharks and animals has been a constant in her life. She loves meditation, gemstones, posture awareness, fossils, symbolism, metals and kindness. You will see her guiding life principles emanate through her designs.
After graduating from East Carolina University in 1992 she went to work at the Florida State attorney office as a case worker. A year later she continued her search for the right job by dabbling in radio advertising.
In 1995 Robin discovered jewelry design. She began studying in the intensive metal-smithing program at the Miami Jewelry Institute. Immersing herself into the ancient art of jewelry making, the real purpose for her life became clear.
In the early days she designed and sold her work out of Chrisalyn on Lincoln Road, South Beach.
Then she let the wind carry her to new experiences in New York City and Blackbird Jewelry was born. At that time she concentrated on hand fabrication, dabbled in wax carving and began making her signature BackBeads.
She would talk and sell her beads to anyone looking for a bit of tranquility, while she tended bar at SYNY at World Trade Center. She took on jobs learning her trade as a bench jeweler and a machinist in the acclaimed NYC Jewelry district.
Returning to Miami Beach at the end of 2001 Robin became fascinated with expressing symbolism through wax carving. Awareness through adornment seeped out in everything she created.
While teaching alternative high school and training Capoeira, she spent all her free time at her work bench. Then, feeling the waves of change once again she was introduced to Pilates and her future husband, Michael. Finding balance in her life, she was certified to teach IM=X Pilates by 2003.
She then married her best friend in 2005. Serendipity at its finest. In 2006 , Robin and her growing family moved to Asheville, North Carolina. There she settled into the Cotton Mill Studio’s in the fast growing River Arts District. She spent her days designing something new and taking care of her 3 babies. The mountains were comforting and the artistic energy flowed effortlessly through her hands.
In 2012, the ocean called once again and Robin and her family returned to Florida settling in Jupiter. In 2015 Robin discovered she had a meningioma brain tumor. She views it as a gift that allows her to see life with a renewed spirt. Her Intuition leading to the tumor and the mental clarity that emerged from the removal of the ping pong size tumor left Robin with clear purpose. " I lost most use of my eyes for 3 months and used wax carving to restore my sight and fundraising kept my spirit soaring. I always think of an image of a woman being cracked open to let the light stuck inside fully illuminate her world.”
By 2018 , Robin began doing fine art shows and found a lovely spot at the Palm Beach Garden's Green Market but the pandemic sent her retreating to home, family and nature. Coming out of the covid cocoon in 2021 she began rekindling her love of hand fabrication , silversmithing and stone setting while also diving deeper into her local charity work with Chasinadream.org.
Presently (2023) , you can find ' BlackBird' at the Garden's green market the first Sunday of each month through April of 2023 under her turquoise tent. You can also view the SeaLife Reflection's collection at the Lighthouse Art Center Gallery in Tequesta, Florida. You can check in on her weekly creations and philosophizing on Instagram or Facebook.
Her mission has remained true. Jewelry design to spread awareness for personal growth, spiritual uplifting and to create intimacy for global issues that effect the earth and its inhabitants. " I am hoping that my creations help to awaken the wearer's mind to the present moments. A reminder to slow down and breathe or step back without reacting mindlessly. Simply, to just quiet your mind, open space between the constant inner chatter and tap into your intuition. " ~ BlackBird