Growing up in Johannesburg Roy had only one goal – to become a vet. However, there was a hitch, he could not speak Afrikaans well enough. He studied and studied and wrote the exams several times. It was all to no avail though, as Onderstepoort would not accept him unless he passed his Afrikaans exam. South Africa lost a potentially great vet, simply because he didn’t speak a particular language.
Quite disillusioned Roy then went to work for his jeweller Uncle, Sidersky in 1968. His uncle had been urging Roy to do an apprenticeship with him because he was good with his hands and would have a great future.
He had been overseas and travelling around in a Kombi, making jewellery along the way. He spent 13 months in Europe. After a few months when he got back he decided to start out on his own. For the last twentyone years, Roy has been making exquisite jewellery pieces that sell all over the world.
Art is often considered to be a retreat from the reality of life for both artists and art-lovers alike. However, when it comes to Roy Sarkin’s bronze sculptures the opposite is true. His precision to detail combined with his love affair with Mother Nature sets him apart as his pieces are not only realistic but captivating too.
Roy, who qualified as a Master Goldsmith in Germany, has been creating jewelry since 1972 and has been sculpting for 28 years. His sculpting career started in 1991 when he was commissioned to do a bronze Cape Buffalo. The success elicited from this project encouraged him to pursue this form of art in tandem with his jewelry making.
What makes Roy’s sculptures unique are their realistic form. Focusing mostly on birds and wild animals, each piece is intricately and painstakingly detailed, down to the last feather or hair. The representative posture of the animals he sculpts is another unique quality which has impressed the world over.
Although deeply rooted in civilised history, bronze sculpturing is generally viewed as one of the most difficult art forms to make and sell. Unlike two-dimensional art, bronze sculpting does not have colour, paint strokes or patterns to attract the eye. However, sculptures are captivating, especially when done with the precision employed by Roy and have the ability to seduce art aficionados and the general population alike.
Whether for home enhancement, office decor or as a stand-alone statue, Roy’s sculptures will enhance any space as they exude the majesty and timelessness that people covet in a work of art.
The Man behind the mastery
To be a world-renown jeweller and artist doesn‘t only take talent — it takes passion, determination and commitment - traits that internationally-acclaimed Lowveld artist, Roy Sarkin possesses.
Roy’s love for the arts, jewellery and nature started from a young age. Being born into a family who loved art and wildlife, Roy’s earliest, and fondest, childhood memories include listening to classical music, reading art books and family holidays to game reserve. It was during these special moments that his fascination for unique art was cemented. Being the nephew of a jeweller aroused his interest in the trade too and at the tender age of 18, he joined his uncle’s business as an apprentice jeweller.
Although born with indisputable talent, his time as a novice at Side sky Jewelers afforded him the opportunity to learn and enhance the skills needed to turn his passion into a successful career. In 1972, after a year-long art-pilgrimage in Europe, he merged his three passions and opened his own business His early days as a jeweller saw him create personalised, timeless pieces inspired by nature What sets Roy apart was his meticulous eye for detail combined with his unique perspective and quality craftsmanship. These qualities saw him make a reputable name for himself.
For the next 20 years, Roy focused mostly on jewellery, enjoying much success. However, his fervour for wildlife brewed deep in him. When in 1991 he was commissioned to sculpt a bronze sculpture of a Cape Buffalo the seed to expand his creativity, and business, was sown. Since then his sculptures have dazzled many an art connoisseur, aficionado and admirer.
It‘s said that every good artist creates what he is, and Roy is not only a nature enthusiast but also very observant and a perfectionist. This is truly the secret to his success because he funnels his admiration and appreciation for Mother Nature into every piece he creates. His precision to detail resonates his belief that nature is perfect and deserves to be replicated as such.
TESTIMONIAL FROM A CLIENT:
“I have a fascination with elephants. A couple of years ago I was in the Elephant museum in Letaba, Kruger National Park when I saw a beautifully sculpted bronze of Mandleve (together with Duke the biggest tuskers ever in Kruger). Picking it up to admire it, I saw the sculptors plaque… Roy Sarkin. Recognizing the name as a local specialist jeweller from White River, I was in his shop the following week to order my copy.
Chatting to Roy he showed me photos of some of his other bronzes, including a set of buffalo horns which was available… so I promptly bought that as well! I then commissioned Roy to create large bronzes of Tembe Elephant Park’s biggest tuskers, Mkhadebona (available in 2 sizes), Lsilo (just completed and being cast) and Induna (still to be sculpted). In between Roy also created a masterpiece of Duke… which I (of course) just had to have! The detail and craftsmanship that goes into Roy’s exquisite creations are beyond compare… hence my growing collection of “Sarkin Bronzes”.
And doing business with a true gentleman who has an undying passion for creating beautiful pieces of art, whether bronzes or unique jewellery is always a pleasure.”
Paul du Plessis, Nelspruit