Featured seller: Gwyneth Hulse Design

Woodworker and designer Gwyneth Hulse comes from a creative family and has always made things. Her modernist, geometric jewellery and interior decor items have a cohesive, strong design factor and a simple elegance that is as distinctive as the locally-sourced native timbers she uses for her work. As well as showcasing her woodworking skills in her Felt shop GH Design, she also runs Little Lambs, where she sells her beautiful handcrafted finger puppets and other items for children.

ghdesign geometric wooden candle holder

What do you make?
I make wooden jewellery and items for your home. Every piece is handcrafted and unique.


How did you get into your craft?
I was at intermediate school when I first realised I could earn a bit of pocket money using my creative skills, by making and selling Fimo beads and jewellery to other students.

I began making things from wood when I was a poor university student. It was a way of getting good quality furniture cheaply — made possible because my father has a woodworking shed, wood and was willing to teach me.

ghdesign the workshop

ghdesign the workshop 2

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in graphic design and then trained as a teacher. It was while I was doing my Fine Arts degree that I was introduced to design eras such as modernism, de Stijl, Bauhaus and constructivism. These styles definitely influence my woodwork.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
All the wood I use is sourced locally in Northland and much of it is from our family farm. It all has a story. I use mainly totara and swamp kauri. I use totara for the bangles because of its strength, fine grain and stability. I use the more temperamental swamp kauri for items which are solid and unlikely to warp, like the candle holders and succulent pots. As a New Zealander I think there is something special about owning items made with native timber.

My new favourite tool is a saw tooth drill for cutting out the centres of bangles. It does such a lovely job and leaves a smooth inner surface.

gh design workbench 2

How do you get past a creative block?
Move on to a totally different project and then come back to the block at a later date.

What inspires you?
The look, feel and colours of different timbers. My husband thinks I’m a bit mad but I like to stroke wood. I love the feel of it when it is beautifully sanded and super smooth, particularly hard, dense woods like puriri and pohutukawa.

The shape of individual pieces of wood is also inspiring. The shape of the vases and necklaces are dictated by the contours of the wood. They are unique pieces made in response to the wood as I cut and shape it.

Describe your workspace:
Quite messy! I try to spend as little time as possible on the not so important aspects of the business and unfortunately this is often reflected in the un-tidiness of my workspaces. I dream of a super organised minimal space with white walls and perfectly organised shelving systems and labels… At this stage of my life it does not quite work with young kids and sanding dust, but I live in hope.

ghdesign paint helper

Five words that describe your mind:
Creative, organised, chaotic, full, determined.

What are you currently listening to?
Whatever my children have on during the day, Levity Beet is a favourite. I like to keep the evenings, when my kids are in bed, noise free. Silence is bliss.

Do you have any pets? Two guinea pigs and an adopted cat called Mozart.

ghdesign geometric wooden necklace

What was the last handmade item you bought?
A handmade kaleidoscope from the Paihia Craft Market.

What would you most like to learn, if time and money were no object?
I would love to do pottery. I’ve attempted it in the past but not enough to feel like I know anything.

ghdesign gwyneth in the workshop

You can see more of Gwyneth’s elegant jewellery and decor pieces in her Felt shop. Gwenyth has very kindly offered one very lucky Felt blog reader the chance to win a pair of her gorgeous Geometric Wooden Bangles (size small). Just leave a comment below, telling us what inspires you about Gwyneth’s work and why, and you’ll be in the draw. The draw will be made on Friday 28 March and is open to New Zealand residents only.

ghdesign geometric wooden bangles

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30 Responses to “Featured seller: Gwyneth Hulse Design”

  1. Renee says:

    Absolutely stunning work Gwyneth! Love the natural wood juxtaposed with splashes of colour.

  2. roseanne says:

    love use of the natural materials used in an almost crystalline form while having a very organic look. Would love to know what paint you are using?

  3. Jillian says:

    I love the simplicity, yet elegance of each peice.

  4. Lauren says:

    Stunning jewellery! Love wooden jewellery (and these bangles..delicious!) and the connection you feel to our earth whilst wearing it :)

  5. Ngaio says:

    Love your designs.

  6. Gorgeous. I love the colours! and the wood! I also dream of a super organised white walled studio. One day. Sigh.

  7. Megan says:

    I love your work and would love to have all your pieces in my house!

  8. Mark Catley says:

    Great stuff! I like that you use native wood and it also seems you have a little person helping you out.

    Would love a bangle for the love of my life!

  9. Pip says:

    Wow, these are gorgeous. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bracelets. Well done Gwyneth, truly inspiring craftswoman!

  10. Emily says:

    I really like the simple geometric shapes and the definite feel of Bauhaus design in the colours, shapes and even materials. Its nice to see jewellery that can work within the realm of art at the same time as being wearable!

  11. Claire F says:

    I too love the mix of colour & natural wood. And I love that it is special to nz without being too kiwiana.

  12. Emma says:

    I LOVE your work, love the colors with the clean cut edges, the natural wood loos look, basically the whole package, you inspire me to redecorate :)

  13. Kate says:

    What fantastic products!

  14. Sylvia says:

    Beautiful work! Love the geometric shapes, scandinavian simplicity and the fact that you work in your dads workshop. This is handmade at it’s best! I admire the way you you use New Zealand woods, which are so beautiful in their own right.

  15. Mary says:

    I love how the clean, geometric lines seem to enhance the organic warmth of the wood.

  16. Katie says:

    Beautiful! I love the use of timber sourced locally :)

  17. I love them! I think I’ll be buying all my friends birthday presents from you! Gorgeous designs. x

  18. Stace says:

    So much beauty in the simplicity of geometric shapes. Well done.

  19. Eve Clarke says:

    Your things are amazing! Love the use of native timber – gives it such a natural feel but also modern at the same time! Definitely makes me want to get crafty!

  20. Juliet says:

    Oh I couldn’t agree more! properly sanded wood feels amazing and is super inspiring! I love the clean lines and shapes in Gwyneth’s jewellery.

  21. Paula says:

    I am in love with all your work and am blown away by what you achieve and then to see you also have another Felt shop filled with gorgeous things for children! Amazing.

  22. Caroline says:

    Beautiful…simple and elegant. Love the use of NZ natural materials.

  23. Bridget says:

    I have been eyeing up your candle holders for a week or do now and love the succulent planter! I have some growing and would love to add some of your gorgeous wares to my home :)

  24. Andy says:

    Design! ;-)

  25. Tessa says:

    I love the contrast of the colours with the natural timber! Beautiful pieces!

  26. Julia says:

    I love how such simply beautiful pieces are born from using the natural goodness of wood. The combination of the elegant, clean lines with the fresh colour palette and the pureness of the wood seems very fulfilling and comforting. BEAUTIFUL! *=”)

  27. Julia says:

    Your work caught my eye straight away. The simple geometric forms and angles take on a stylish modern approach. I love that you use wood to express this.

  28. Natasha Courtney says:

    As a fellow female woodworker I love what you’re doing, such classy design. Next time I’m up north I’ll look you up, and likewise if you’re on the Coromandel peninsula anytime you’d be very welcome to visit my workspace :)

  29. Sarah says:

    they are gorgeous- honey toned wood combined with pops of colour, they look like they would feel & smell lovely too!

  30. Meredith says:

    I personally like the geometric patterning that you use on the wood – true retro chic!

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