Where do you live?
I live in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Tell me a little bit about what you make.
I make one-of-a-kind jewelry made with non-traditional materials from the hardware store, such as washers, nuts, and other interesting items. I also design printed T-shirts, including eco-friendly organic cotton and Bamboo.
How did you decide to start your line?
I was exposed to the world of art from an early age. I grew up with a passion for design after being inspired by my father`s art creations which included painting, ceramic, stained glass and jewelry making. I began painting and took regular courses at the local art studio. I continued to design as a hobby and after working for a short time as lawyer, I immigrated to New Zealand in 2003 and resided in Christchurch. While I was working in the marketing field in New Zealand, I took a business management course. After finishing it, I decided that it was time to follow my original dream and pursue my love of art. I decided to take a leadership of my life and to start my own business and translate my designs into wearable art.
Is this your full-time work?
Yes. Marketing my online shop and doing all the creative work requires me to be involved in the business full-time.
Where do you get your washers and nuts and why do you enjoy working with hardware?
I buy the hardware pieces from a big hardware store close to where I live. I also found a huge warehouse in town that sells fastening items in a wider range than the local hardware store, so I buy there as well.
I love making hardware jewelry because there are a big variety of hardware items that enable me to be creative and original in my work. I like making unique jewelry that no one else has. It’s something different that makes you stand out from the crowd. I like taking “ordinary” and “simple” items such as hardware, and take them to a different direction. Not many people think you can wear hardware bits and pieces around your neck, but I love to prove them that you can
create from hardware something beautiful to wear.
What sets the New Zealand handmade movement apart from the one in the US?
I have found out that in the US there are a lot more forums and communities that give a place to artists to share their work with eachother, it’s more organized. This is a result of the US being a much larger place than New Zealand…
How does your creative process work?
All my T-shirts are printed in New Zealand using the latest cutting edge printing technology that is called “DTG” – Direct to Garment, which uses environmentally-friendly water-based inks. My printer lives not far away from where I live, and this enables me to work closely with him and not in a remote control. All the jewelry is done by me and each piece is one-of-a-kind, so one can rest assured that no one else will have the same item.
What's your current favorite color combination?
When doing hardware jewelry I discovered the color combination of silver and gold together in one piece. Each colour enhances the other and gives more interest to the jewelry. In my T-shirt I like mostly the pastel range of the short sleeve V neck. It looks great on anyone.
What's the best part of your day?
The best part of my day is when I do my creations. It can be in any part of the day, but usually I do the creative work in the afternoon. This is what I love to do most, and it gives me a lot of pleasure.
What do you like to do when you're not working on your creations?
I love painting. In the past I used to paint mainly still life and landscapes, but here in New Zealand I started practicing more abstract painting which allows me more freedom and releases my imagination. Now my walls at home are getting filled with my paintings.
Do you have a favorite product in your shop right now?
I love equally both my jewelry line and printed T-shirt line. They are different from each other, and enable me to develop different aspects in my creativity.