Featured seller: Maggie Churcher

Maggie Churcher lives at the beach in Tutukaka with partner Neil, daughter Bella and son Jimmy. Every morning she rides along the Ngunguru waterfront to her cottage studio, where, inspired by her surroundings in beautiful Northland, she designs and handcrafts her jewellery.

 

Kowhai Necklace by Maggie Churcher

What do you make? Handmade jewellery.

How did you get into your craft?
For as long as I can remember I have loved making things with my hands.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
Yes, I had a great time completing a Bachelor of Applied Arts at NorthTec, Whangarei. I concentrated more on sculpture while I was studying and have really just transferred those skills into jewellery making.

Sterling Silver Rings by Maggie Churcher

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
I love the whole process of wax casting. I love carving the wax, sending it off to the foundry… and then ripping open the parcel when it comes back in metal!

What inspires you?
It is obvious in my work that my ideas are strongly nature-inspired, but interactions with wonderful customers are super inspiring too. I find Felt customers are a lovely bunch. Seeing how other artists are working inspires me; it reminds me how cool it is to be making art.

Flax Weave Single Wrap Ring by Maggie Churcher

Kowhai-inspired Jewellery by Maggie Churcher

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I guess my theme is just emphasising the intricate beauty in nature. When you imitate nature in another material you get to take a look at it from a different perspective.

Five words that describe your mind:
Free, treasure chest, mostly a jungle – occasionally a desert! Optimistic.

Describe your workspace:
My workspace is heavenly. I work in a little cottage at my friend’s place. She has a ceramics studio there too, so it is an inspiring place to be. I often sit at my jewellers’ bench just loving my space and wondering if that is how some men feel about their ‘man caves’!

Maggie Churcher's workshop studio

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
“I love, love, love the necklace! It is my new favourite piece of jewellery and I am getting loads of compliments. You are obviously very talented! Thank you very much.”

Sometimes when working on a commission piece I do so much emailing with my lovely customers and wish I could meet them – that is the only downfall of internet sales.

What are you currently listening to?
The White Stripes, Lorde, Faithless, Fly My Pretties.

Recommend an album:
My old favourite – Back to Mine: Faithless.

Necklaces by Maggie Churcher

Your favourite childhood book?
Lion and Blue by Robert Vavra. It’s such a beautiful love story about a Lion who falls in love with a Brazilian Blue butterfly. And the pictures are amazing.

What are you reading now? Anything to do with alternative power.

Your hero/heroine:
Me lovely Ma, she is amazing, nearly as amazing as my daughter.

What was the last handmade item you bought?
Some beautiful coffee cups from Akke Tiemersma Ngunguru Pottery. They are so good to drink out of and warm your palms at the same time. Handy.

If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
I think I would be Miss Macgyver, because I love fixing things.

Sterling Silver Flax Weave Pendant by Maggie Churcher

Bronze and sterling silver shell earrings by Maggie Churcher

A favourite quote:
“Beware of deadly donkeys, falling from the sky, as you can choose the way you live my dear, but not the way you die.” I’m not sure who wrote this… would love to know!

Do you have any pets?
Yes. I have a gorgeous little Jack Russell cross, Vani. She does suffer from small dog syndrome… and lifts her leg on power poles, but she is quite nice at home. I did have a gem of a cat, but he left me for another woman. But I understand, she is very cool.

Make sure you visit Maggie’s Felt shop to see more of her gorgeous pieces. We’re also delighted to say that Maggie has generously offered one lucky Felt blog reader a prize of a $50.00 voucher to spend in her Felt shop! Leave a comment below, telling us what inspires you about Maggie’s beautiful jewellery, and you’ll be in to win. The draw will be made on Friday 2 August and is open to New Zealand residents only.

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67 Responses to “Featured seller: Maggie Churcher”

  1. Jude says:

    Not being a bling person I really like the honest use of materials (particularly combinations) and unpretentious yet lovely quality of your work.

  2. Steph says:

    I love that Maggie’s designs are modern and edgy yet classic enough to stand the test of time. When I look for quality jewellery I look for something that will still look fresh in a few years time and I think Maggie has achieved that balance with these pieces.

  3. Catherine says:

    Such lovely work – I love how the jewellery is so clearly New Zealand. Real feeling of home :)

  4. Sharon says:

    Looking at these pieces you just want to touch & feel the textures created by Maggie. I love the woven affect on the rings

  5. Leanne Harrop says:

    I just love how it relates to nature, the designs are flowers or flax or whatever, absolutely beautiful!

  6. Lisa says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your work. I would love to wear a piece as a reflection of our beautiful environment. To me they say a raw kind of beauty, which gets me nostalgic :)

  7. Sally says:

    There’s a delicious imprint of Aotearoa combined with modern simplicity within Maggie’s work. I’m looking forward to owning at least one piece!

  8. Tammie says:

    I love how tactile the woven pieces look and that the jewellery has a look that it has a past (not shiny and new).

  9. Brigid says:

    How clever you are to capture the simple beauty of land and sea. My favourites: the kowhai flower (my daughter’s school’s symbol) and the flax flower (in abundance at our place, much to the tuis’ delight come spring). As a Whangarei local I would be so proud to wear one of your pieces.

  10. Joanne says:

    Wow what lovely pieces. Any of these Maggie has handcrafted would make you feel special.

  11. Keren says:

    I love the kowhai flowers, amazing.

  12. Jacqueline says:

    These are simply stunning – the seashell ring is like a beautiful grown-up version of what my son made me years ago – so special

  13. Ross Heywood says:

    Once the competition for a freebee is over I hope all you people who would love to own one of Maggie’s pieces put your money where your mouth is and actually buy something off her. I wish you well Maggie. Ross

  14. Julie says:

    What beautiful work – so clearly New Zealand – but not tacky or touristy.

  15. Kay says:

    You actually enhance the beauty of nature. I love the delicate broken butterfly wing, but my favorite is the Kowhai pendant. I would love to visit your workshop when I am next up North.

  16. Bridget says:

    I loooooove the Kowhai necklace

  17. Zair says:

    Beautiful beautiful amazing art

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