meet the maker

Making space: a Taranaki potter’s rediscovery of creativity

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.

Gifts from Papatūānuku: the eco-conscious creative journey of a Kaipara textile artist

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.

Lasting essentials: a West Coast leatherworker’s pursuit of quality form and function

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.”

Found things, natural things, lovely things: the locally-inspired jewellery Hana made

Hana Makin began her jewellery-making journey in England, but now produces her pieces from her home beside beautiful Petone Beach. Inspired by this and the nearby Zealandia Sanctuary, her work features our fauna and landscape prominently (and in the case of the landscape, literally – small found items often make their way into her work). She’s inspired by found things, natural things and old things, and she loves handcrafting her Hana Made Jewellery in her workshop by the sea.

Respecting our resources: the Christchurch team working to save timber from landfill

A small but dedicated salvage team based in Christchurch, The Silvan started out life as an art gallery and café. When their building was lost in the 2011 earthquakes, the team came back fighting, shifting their focus to saving and repurposing beautiful timbers, hand salvaged from damaged buildings. Founders Debra and GT believe in minimising waste and reusing everything they can to make pieces that are practical, beautiful, and full of soul.

Slow fashion: making unique, nostalgic, and eco-friendly children’s clothing

Swimming strongly against the tide of fast fashion, Wainui maker Rachel Hindley of OneMe makes one of a kind, eco-friendly children’s clothing and soft toys from beautiful, high quality vintage and rescued fabrics and notions. She says she loves to make things that make you smile, and evoke a bit of nostalgia – and her sweet products certainly achieve that aim!