Featured Seller: Rawkos Designs

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.

rawkos tui and flax teatowel

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.

rawkos lucy printing

rawkos teatowels

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.

rawkos press iron

rawkos studio teatowels and runners

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.

rawkos puka leaf table runner

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9 Responses to “Featured Seller: Rawkos Designs”

  1. Ngaio says:

    Lucys designs are beautiful. I really connect with her love of natural textiles and find it inspiring that she makes a living from her creative work.

  2. Rose says:

    I really resonate with what Lucy said !

    The 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.

    I feel Rawkos Designs are bold and bright and invite the recipient to treasure and connect with the New Zealand Environment. A celebration of where we live, but also a reminder to nourish and protect our precious flora. I can really sense the heat of the northland sun, in her work.

    Thanks for sharing your creativity Lucy!
    Having recently watched Home; a documentary about the earth- I feel its important we respond to environmental challanges creatively and by supporting local endeavours.

  3. Louana says:

    I love that Lucy hand paints finishing touches on her screen printed designs, not forgetting to mention the use of natural fibres. What stuck me the most however was her mention of letting her children know they can make things, not just buy from shops. That is something I am trying to instill in my children too.

    Such beautiful designs!

  4. Clare says:

    I am so excited to view these beautiful creations from an artist based in my local town. I have recently returned to NZ and continue to be dazzled by the natural beauty around us. What inspires me about Lucy’s story is that she is being a role model for her children, she is teaching them to design and create. Awesome!

  5. Lou says:

    Awesome work! I love her use of natural fibres and bold, nature-inspired designs.

  6. Faye Kilday says:

    I love the colour in Lucy’s work and that her work is inspired by nature. I’m also a Northland artist and the nature and landscape up here is so inspiring, especially the birds.

    I laughed when I read Lucy describe her workspace as “Full of vibrant colours, a bit messy, stuff everywhere but quiet and peaceful.” I can relate to that!

    I think Lucy’s art is very beautiful!

  7. Chrissi Garside says:

    Beautiful work! I love the natural fibres, vibrant colours, uniqueness, hand painted and best of all it portrays the beautiful back yard we have in New Zealand

  8. Angela says:

    I love your new designs. They are a departure from your older work but are still colourful, different and interesting. I think my favourite is the nikau or maybe the tui?! Can’t wait to see what else is coming!

  9. Rae says:

    I have always been a fan of Rawkos designs, and I especially love them because they are local (I live in Whangarei too – there are heaps of really talented artists in Northland). I would love to see some of her new designs on fabric for quilting, or on bed linen.

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