Rainer Beneke was born in Hamburg, Germany. He graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1978, and worked the following five years as a design engineer. Beneke came to New Zealand in1984 where he trained as a jeweller with Blair Smith, at Otago Polytechnic School of Art. He now shares a Dunedin workshop with Ann Culy.
The mountains and the wonderful Central Otago landscape continue to be the inspiration for his work. Creating jewellery mainly in precious metals, often a combination of gold and silver, his pieces reflect the landscape both in shape and surface. Beneke’s innate knowledge of the metals possibilities gives him the ability to make timeless classic works.