An advert in a shop window was the first step in a new creative direction for Colleen Jamieson. In her hilltop cottage in the rural Northland district of Kaipara, she now weaves flax into beautiful kete, household items and traditional Māori clothing, while her daughter Dusk assists with the running of her Felt shop, Souly Fibre.
Peter Coulter of Reclectica is an ex dentist, ex signwriter, now furniture maker and spoon carver. Peter has long had a fascination for green woodworking, but it wasn’t until a tree fell across his driveway that he took up spoon carving.
Yarn dyers and mamas Vicky and Nicola of Rosewood Wool have been friends for quite a long time. “We met when our eldest sons were toddlers, but our friendship is bound together with handcraft. We live and breathe it [though] one of us works full time and the other home-schools – we have six children between us and we plan family camping trips together with the intention of sitting and knitting for days.”
Auckland-based Alex O’Connell of The Adventures of Alex O & Co named her crafting venture after the adventure of her own crafting journey – and her personality-filled, colourful, animal and pixie characters are testament to the liveliness and fun she’s found along the way.
Simonetta Ferrari makes her delicious Buoni Sapori condiments from the heritage organic produce of Gunyah Country Estate in Windwhistle, Canterbury. A member of the Selwyn Food & Wine Trail, Simonetta can also be found presenting her creations at the Hororata Highland Games and the Royal A&P Show in Christchurch.
Holly Dark of Little Laneway Design is a designer and print artist based in Hamilton. From her home studio she produces a range of uncluttered and cheerful New Zealand-inspired designs, which she turns into lovely decor and homewares.
Like many makers, Christchurch craftsman Ben Teeuwen’s journey started with making handcrafted gifts that drew compliments and led to word-of-mouth interest. From that emerged a plan to fashion beautiful jewellery using natural timber and recycled copper. His shop name, Cobredera, comes from the two Spanish words for his favourite materials: cobre (copper) and madera (wood).
Sarita Muir’s love of animals is very apparent in her creations and in her day-to-day life, as she divides her time between design for her label Evelyn Rose Design and rescuing unwanted rabbits and guinea pigs. Sarita finds it an exciting time to be a designer-maker, saying “The digital printing age has really embraced small businesses, creating new opportunities to print small runs of fabric.”
Silk artist Kay Satherley paints in vibrant dyes onto Habotai silk in a rustic shed that’s cold in winter and hot in summer, but the ideal environment for her creative process. Inspired by her garden and natural surroundings north of Auckland, Kay has hand painted and sold well over a thousand pieces, each one unique.
Deborah Sax of Piccalilli takes vintage wool blankets, haberdashery and accessories, and turns them into impeccably tailored and beautifully finished children’s clothing. Deborah combines these vintage finds with contemporary fabric to make beautiful and robust modern day heirloom garments.