Nana Sakaguchi of Hena Hena has a passion for giving vintage kimonos new lives and letting them shine again. Compared to designing and making clothes from new fabrics, upcycling these beautiful items needs a lot of extra work. However Nana believes this is a worthwhile task: to pass on the beauty of Japanese kimonos to future generations as wearable and useful items.
Adrienne Mulqueen of Adrienne’s Loom has been weaving since 1979. She loved it from the moment she threw her first weft, immediately feeling she wanted to do nothing else but weave. Life has taken her in different directions over the years but it has now allowed her to return to her looms. Adrienne is passionate about producing textiles that people will enjoy using – she’d really rather you didn’t tuck her creations away for “best”!
Gina Reid of Luxi Home NZ makes macramé art and accessories that have grown out of her exploration of fibre arts and her life experiences. Her pieces are shaped by Aotearoa’s changing natural and built landscapes, Māori designs, and the natural fibres and found materials she incorporates into her pieces, including cotton, New Zealand merino wool and driftwood collected from our beautiful beaches.
Four years ago Elizabeth Woollard’s trip to France and Italy inspired her with visions of old architecture, flaking paint, interesting doors and vibrant colours. From this fertile ground her creative outlet Tiny House was born. Why houses? Elizabeth says we often find ourselves pondering “I wonder who lives there, I wonder what they do?” She sees her tiny creations, made from recycled New Zealand timber, as big builders of the imagination.
Marigold Janezic of Gold Creative is a South Islander born and raised, but has also lived in Western Samoa, Brazil and Ireland. After travelling and exploring, she returned home to Aotearoa to settle in Auckland near the beautiful Waitakere ranges. The beauty of the New Zealand bush and bird life are an ongoing inspiration for her – and she challenges herself to try and put her stamp on this popular design theme. For Marigold, the creative way to meet this challenge has been collaboration, and she has found a fruitful creative partnership with Ronja Schipper of Re:purpose. Together they produce the beautiful Birds of a Feather card range.
When Snells Beach sewing aficionado Brenda Howson of Zealous Design was a child she had a precious big rag doll that she loved to pieces. Now she makes beautiful handcrafted dolls and soft toy animals so that a new generation of Kiwi kids can love a unique doll that’s made with care and love.
Whanganui fibre artist Tina Schurhammer’s interest in felting is part of a lifelong exploration of crafting and creative techniques. She was introduced to felting in her thirties and is now passionate about the ancient art of felt making – producing attractive and practical everyday objects as well as beautiful works of art in her Felt shop Fibrefusion. Crafting in sustainable materials fits both with her environmental beliefs and with the organic nature of her work.
Ceramicist Janine Rata was born in the north of England and emigrated to Taranaki in the late 1980s, while in her early teens. She left her background in corporate IT in 2005 to dedicate her time to beginning a family (she has been married to Hone for more than 20 years now and they have two children), and it wasn’t until 2015, while searching for a creative outlet, that she discovered the potter’s wheel. She has been addicted ever since.
Through her work as textile artist and eco dyer, Karen Williamson of Nuku finds a spiritual connection to the land and its changing seasons. Using only natural resources, foraged from the local Kaipara landscape, Karen infuses prints of leaves, petals, seeds and bark into natural fibres to create a unique range of scarves, clothing and gifts. The name Nuku comes from te reo Māori, meaning earth. Karen lives in rural Kaiwaka and is building a sustainable lifestyle on a half-acre section with her husband, Luke.
Qi Huang of Coast Craft started teaching herself the art of making beautiful, durable wallets and cardholders in 2018, working at her kitchen table in Franz Josef. Her leather goods are built with care to be accessible, functional, and long-lasting essentials that age gracefully and uniquely to every owner. These days she does have a dedicated workspace, which she describes as “my spaceship in the universe.”