Lucy of Rawkos Designs is a textile artist known for her vibrant and bold colours and designs, with a strong Aotearoa influence. Her work reflects the strong light and colours of Northland, where she produces her work in a small studio in Parua Bay, Whangarei Heads. She enjoys using native flora, fauna, birds and sea life throughout her designs.
What do you make?
Hi, I’m Lucy and I make textile gifts. So far my new range includes teatowels, table runners and cushion covers in several designs and colourways, that are screenprinted layer upon layer to create the final design. Sometimes these include some handpainting to really add to the vibrancy. Harakeke flax and the Nikau palm feature strongly. The teatowels especially are a great gift for local and overseas friends and family. They have a blurb about the design on each package with some interesting facts.
How did you get into your craft?
Textiles, sewing and making has always been my love from a young age. I was always whipping up a skirt or designing a complicated dress (that would challenge my mum’s patience to watch!). Then it moved on to adding some dying, batiking or painting to the clothing for selling at the market. My favourite friend and I used to say we would open a store selling all our own merchandise (I think the store’s name may have even been Rawkos!). Some years later, after some OE travelling, Rawkos was finally started.
Do you have any formal qualifications in your craft?
I studied architectural draughting after leaving school and later, after travelling, I completed a course at the Te Kowhai Print Trust in screenprinting. This is a fantastic arts centre near the city in Whangarei.
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
I love all natural fibres, linen and cotton being my favourites. My favourite tools are my print carousel and my rotring pens.
What inspires you?
Nature particularly, but all surroundings, travels, beaches and my children’s great imagination.
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I would like my children to know that they can still make things! They don’t just come from the shop.
Describe your workspace:
Full of vibrant colours, a bit messy, stuff everywhere but quiet and peaceful.
Describe your mind:
Graphic, relaxed, busy, satisfied.
What are you currently listening to?
A lovely local singer at Whangarei Heads – Erin Cole-Baker.
Do you have any pets?
We have Blackberry the black cat; Olive, Salt and Sugar the chickens and Vanilla the bunny.
And what’s your favourite feedback from a customer?
Feedback is why I love what I do. Customers love the vibrant happy colours and it’s a pleasure to make these to share.
You can see more of these vibrant, happy New Zealand-inspired designs in Lucy’s beautiful Felt shop here.
Lucy has very kindly offered a prize of one cotton and one linen nikau print tea towel (below) to a lucky Felt blog reader. If you’d like to be in the prize draw, just leave a comment below telling us what inspires you about Rawkos Designs and Lucy’s story. The draw will be made on Friday 7 November and is open to New Zealand residents only.