Meet the Maker

The feeling of a place: a love for the outdoors captured in print

Sally-Mae Hudson of Shapes by Sal is a self-taught linocut printmaker, discovering the art form nearly three years ago. Sally’s appreciation for the great outdoors and the natural environment underpins the majority of her work. Her work is as much about inspiring others to appreciate the natural world, as it is her own artistic expression. Sally currently works part-time for WAI Wanaka, an environmental organisation where she is part of a Jobs for Nature field team.

Connecting to the joy within: how an Auckland maker found her way with journals

Guatyen of Mettaville loves journaling, making uniquely hand-bound journals to share her love with others. With the growing awareness of the importance of mental health, she believes that lives can be transformed through the joy and comfort journalling provides. Working from her tiny West Auckland studio, she balances the modern need for technology with retreating to her quiet surroundings where she is most comfortable.

“The rest is just practice, practice, practice.” A lifetime of shaping cane

Cane weaver Sandy Jameson of Almond Seed Handmade tells us her maker journey feels like two bookends at times. “I began weaving as a young Christchurch city girl, and after a long but richly filled break I’ve picked up the cane again as a wise (ha!) rural Aucklander.” Sandy attends her local Pollok Market every month (COVID permitting), and says it’s really cool to engage with her local community and mix with the talented craftspeople and producers there.

Companions on a journey: the beautiful, haunting creature creations of Minu Freitag

Wellington illustrator and toymaker Minu Freitag works with a wide variety of materials and techniques to form her whimsical creations. Her engaging, anthropomorphic characters and scenes are based on traditional archetypes: the unwilling (grumpy) and lonely hero, the companion on a journey, and the dangers and shadows of the past, present and future. Yet, even though her characters are often dark and melancholic, they emit something strangely positive and uplifting.

The tale of one artist and her thirty-seven furred, feathered, and woolly friends

Waihi artist Sarah Potton of Mousewhisker Studio had a childhood dream to become an artist and live a self sufficient life in the country, surrounded by as many animals as possible. While that dream (much to her amazement) actually came true, she does find that trying to combine an artistic career with the demands of a large vege garden and thirty-seven furred, feathered and woolly residents has been a bit more challenging than she imagined! Sarah’s creature-inspired artistry manifests on paper and beautiful pebble miniatures, all available in her Felt shop.

Cut from her own cloth: from fabric design to making fabulous products

Talented and busy maker Samantha Jones lives in Wellington with her husband and two boys, and has a third baby boy on the way. Working two part-time jobs as well as raising her youngsters, she sews at night when the world is asleep. “My mum raised six girls on her own and taught us how to be resourceful – that’s for sure! All of my sisters are clever and can make cool things, and I would love to open up a little shop one day full of our family’s creations.”

Flotsam, jetsam, and inspiration – a Wellington artist’s lockdown lifesaver

Wellington artist Rebecca A’court, of Little1Step, tells us “Success seemed to begin early for me at the tender age of five, when I won first prize at my school art show. Sadly ‘Cat Surrounded by Blotches’ was a high never to be repeated. But it marked the beginning to a lifelong enthusiasm for creating.” Now a mum to two kids, Rebecca keeps the creative flame burning with the help of the invention of school and locked doors. Currently she enjoys creating delightful and quirky paintings and enchanting miniature seaside scenes.