Too Precious to be left behind

Tim Peel made the reliquaries using precious metals and gemstones.

A Healesville artist and silversmith is helping Black Saturday survivors to protect treasures salvaged from the flames.

Tim Peel opened exhibition Too Precious at Silvermist Studio in Healesville on Saturday 6 April.

Mr Peel has designed and crafted four modern day reliquaries using precious metals and gemstones.

A reliquary is a vessel for precious objects.

These four will protect a small item is considered ‘too precious to be left behind’ for four locals directly affected by the Black Saturday Bushfires in 2009.

Mr Peel, who was awarded a grant from Regional Arts Victoria, approached the survivors and asked if he could design and make a reliquary for each of them.

“After the fires I witnessed so many trying to come to terms with the loss of precious and valuable things that can never be replaced,” he said.

“And where people had objects they recovered from the devastation or saved in the moments before leaving, they are all too precious to be left behind again.

“I knew I could create a vessel to hold their items in the hope it might help to continue the healing and the positive experiences that came after the fires.”

Mr Peel has worked closely with each person to create four distinctly different works of art, which will be exhibited with their ‘too precious’ items alongside design sketches and notes in the window of his studio.

Too Precious will run until 28 April at Silvermist Studios, 238 Maroondah Highway, Healesville.

Visit to learn more about the project.