Posts Tagged ‘rings’

Capturing colour: a stunning synthesis of natural and manmade materials

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Designer, music producer and DJ Nigel Greene takes inspiration for his eye-catching Greeen Customs jewellery creations from his engineering and music backgrounds, as well as the natural and manmade materials he uses. In his workshop in Christchurch he seamlessly blends native and exotic timbers, and resins in a stunning mix of colours, to create wearable art rings that are truly unique.

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What do you make?
Hand turned rings from custom castings and other creative supplies.

How did you get into your craft?
I was inspired to start a new business where I could harness my creativity and skills.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
Living a life of art and music, accompanied by a five year history of plastics and rubber engineering.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
I love working with resins, exotic and native woods, hybrid acrylic blanks and delving into anything interesting I can get my hands on!

I custom cast my own resin blanks, creating personalised colourways and can use or add other materials, then process using drills, saws, gluing, sanding and a lathe to create customised wearable art rings.

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Tell us about some of the techniques involved in producing one of your rings:
As part of the custom casting process I create multiple shades of as many colours as are desired and combine them with precision timing, which allows me to get amazing results.

What inspires you?
Life, colour, music, art, nature, and everyone awesome around me!

Describe your creative process:
I get inspired, create colour, search for and combine materials to produce my rings.

Describe your workspace:
I work from an early stage, at home workshop that is slowly shaping into what I need. It’s a great space and has a good sound system. (Very important! :-) – Ed.)

Five words that describe your mind:
Creative, seeking, detailed, intuitive, introverted.

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
“So happy to have found you and this amazing piece of jewelry.” (From a yoga teacher in New York.)

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What are you currently listening to?
Heaps of drum & bass/electronic music whilst performing/producing my own.

Recommend an album: Maduk – Never Give Up.

What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Create something unique to yourself and constantly push forward no matter what anybody says! Stick at it and be different!

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
It was a beaut handmade glass pendant. It features a dragon hand holding onto a sphere containing an awesome opal! I purchased it from the Illusion Glass Gallery in the heart of Denver, USA in 2015. I was fully drawn to the colour (Slime Green) and the crazy attention to detail – it really is a work of art!

What’s in store for the rest of 2017?
Fulfilling a lot of custom ring orders locally and from around the world. Taking the time to explore new materials and techniques as well as building an extensive backlog of designs and custom options whilst preparing myself to hit the market places come spring time!

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Nigel has very generously offered a prize for one lucky Felt reader of a $100 gift voucher to be redeemed in his Felt shop. Awesome, thank you Nigel!

To be in to win this great prize, simply leave a comment telling us what you like about Nigel’s story and his Greeen Customs creations. The voucher draw will be made on Friday 5 May and is open to New Zealand residents only.


Explore Nigel Greene’s amazing rings on Felt now »


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Beautiful rings for a special day

Monday, April 17th, 2017

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Pair of bark textured rings in Sterling silver, with garnet by Sophie Divett | Simple 5mm personalised wedding band set by Whalebird | Personalised date ring by ZaZing


Explore our Weddings pages here »


Made to be worn: the Christchurch jeweller sculpting life into silver

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Sophie Divett is an ethical jeweller who has recently moved back to Christchurch from Wellington. Taking her inspirations from nature and antiquity, she specialises in bespoke pieces using sustainably sourced metals and natural gems.

What do you make?
I’m a jeweller, and I make a lot of wedding rings and bespoke, one-off pieces. I like to make jewels that hold sentimental value for the wearer and will be worn and treasured.


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How did you get into your craft?
I studied Fine Art and always gravitated toward making tiny, delicate sculptural pieces. After graduating, something clicked and I started making jewellery in the evenings as a way to stay making and creative. Everything just sort of escalated from there.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
Aside from my Bachelor of Fine Art, I’ve just finished my Diploma in Applied Arts (Jewellery Design) at Whitireia last year.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
All of the metals I use are ethically and sustainably sourced, mainly recycled from industry waste. I work with sterling silver, bronze and gold, with gold definitely being my favourite. It is a beautiful material to work with. I especially love white gold- most of the white gold you see in shops is rhodium plated to look brighter and more silvery, but naturally it has a beautiful subtle golden hue which is so unique.

My favourite tools would have to be the few that I have made myself, and older ones that have been handed on to me. Some tools get so much better with age, and you can’t beat a tool that has been customised or handmade to fit a specific purpose. A lot of these are the ones I use all the time and you can’t buy them in a shop.



Tell us about the techniques involved in producing a piece of your jewellery
I like to use lost wax casting methods to make my pieces, because the wax allows for so much more freedom with organic shapes. I’ll usually create a model of a new piece in wax, before casting it in precious metal. After that, lots of polishing and finishing, and setting stones.

…the impressions left by the wearer as it takes the knocks of life and becomes polished next to the skin become part of the piece.

What inspires you?
I’ve always been very inspired by the natural world, and ancient artifacts. I am fascinated by the way centuries-old objects develop the marks of time through corrosion and decay, and it is uncertain where the original object ends and the hand of nature begins. I like to think about this when making many of my jewels- they are made to be worn, and the impressions left by the wearer as it takes the knocks of life and becomes polished next to the skin become part of the piece.


Is there a philosophy behind your work?
Make beautiful things for lovely people.

Describe your creative process:
Sometimes there’s an idea first, other times I just begin with a lump of wax and see where it takes me. Either way, the best things happen when they develop organically.

Describe your workspace:
I share a workshop with two other jewellers at the back of Form Gallery on Colombo Street, in Christchurch. My bench is usually the messiest, though I prefer the term ‘creative jumble’. It’s usually covered in lots of half-made bits and pieces, any commissions I’m working on, and a scattering of interesting objects I’ve picked up at some point- rocks, bones, seeds, leaves, insects. The bench itself was made by repurposing an old bankers desk and customising it to suit my needs.



Your favourite feedback from a customer:
I’m quite blessed with a lot of absolutely lovely customers so couldn’t possibly pick just one. I love hearing about the people behind the jewels, which is a bit hard when so much of what I do is online, so it’s always so special when people go to the trouble to tell me their stories.

What are you currently listening to? Shura – Touch.

Recommend an album: Furns – Furns (2014).

If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
I’m not sure about superhero, but I am pretty good at hoarding gold and precious jewels. So I’d probably be a dragon.


What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Be prepared to persist, anything really worth doing is probably going to be difficult. But if it’s what you really want to do, do it and you won’t have any regrets.

What’s in store for 2017?
Oh, so much. This will be my first year working as a jeweller full-time since graduating, so it’s going to be all go. Right now I’m working on a new collection of engagement rings, which is so exciting, it’s something I’ve been planning for a long time. I’ve just moved back to Christchurch so am very interested in getting involved with the Christchurch arts scene, events and exhibitions and collaborations with other artists.


Sophie has very generously offered an exquisite prize for one lucky Felt reader of a beautiful Sterling silver Annui necklace (see above). Annui in Latin means to favour or smile on, and this necklace embodies that feeling wonderfully.

To be in to win this elegant handcrafted prize, simply leave a comment telling us what appeals to you about Sophie’s story and her beautiful jewellery creations. The draw will be made on Friday 10 February and is open to New Zealand residents only.


Explore Sophie Divett’s ethical jewellery on Felt »



Featured Seller: Julia Marin Jewellery

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Julia Marin hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She came here travelling seven years ago and fell in love with New Zealand, the people and a more laid back way of living. She soon decided to change the city life in Buenos Aires for a more relaxed existence in beautiful Piha, near the Waitakere Ranges.

Designing and making jewellery is Julia’s passion. The themes of her jewellery mix traditional techniques and styles learned in Argentina with the experiences of her New Zealand life and the inspiration of New Zealand flora and fauna.

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What do you make?
I design and hand make custom jewellery in silver and gold, delicately crafted in traditional jewellery techniques – from my work bench to you!

How did you get into your craft?
I am not quite sure to be honest… I’ve always been interested in creative activities, from sewing and knitting to ceramics, drawing and painting. My mum and dad are both artists and I guess since I’ve always been around “the making of things” I fell into it while looking for ways of expressing myself, but I am not completely sure! All I know is that it started over ten years ago…

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I studied fashion design at university in Buenos Aires (where I am originally from) and I studied traditional jewellery techniques at the National Jewellers Association, in Buenos Aires as well. In New Zealand I trained in stone setting.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Silver and gold are my favourite materials and I buy them from New Zealand’s most trusted silver and gold bullion retailer, which is warranty of good stuff! Whenever I incorporate copper or brass in my designs, it is recycled piping or scrap metal from old building materials. (I love doing little hunts for hidden treasures!)

My favourite process is hand making from scratch. Hammering, sawing, soldering, using my hands along with my tools, bending and curving the metals, creating a piece from zero.

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What inspires you?
Anything can inspire me. Sometimes is a particular situation or a life experience I am going through; sometimes is all the beautiful things around. It could be anything, although I would confidently venture to say that being active is the most inspiring thing, the more you make the most creative you become and ideas just flow. You no longer have to look for them, because they come to you.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I am not sure really, I would say that maybe more than a “philosophy” there is an “idea” behind my work, that is more like the essence of what I make. I think in my case it has to do with simplicity, femininity, minimalism and passion for creativity. I think a little bit of all these things can be seen in all my pieces.

Describe your workspace:
I have a little studio room at home in Piha, where I live. In it I have my work bench with all my tools. I have some images on the walls and more tools, plants and books as well as my sewing machine. Piles of fabric and boxes with metal, work in process everywhere.

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juliamarin at work

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Five words that describe your mind:
Restless and a bit complicated.

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
The feedback from customers is one of the most rewarding things about being a maker. Any feedback is always very encouraging.

What are you currently listening to?
Kool And The Gang, I am feeling funky!

What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
My dad used to read us Roald Dahl stories, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Witches were my favourites, they are crazy amazing adventures!

What are you reading now?
A book about Yoga.

Who is your hero/heroine?
Anyone that is humble and does things for others without expecting something back is a “hero” or someone I‘d admire for sure. Currently I feel mind-blown by the Sea Shepherd volunteers risking their lives fighting for animal rights.

A favourite quote:
“No dejes para mañana lo que puedes hacer hoy.” It means “Don’t leave it for tomorrow if you can do it today.” It motivates me when I am feeling not very active!

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juliamarin the jewellers office

If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
I would love to be able to turn things into metal with a wiggle of my nose, haha! I‘d be Silverella.

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
Mmmm, this is a hard one because 90% of my purchases are either handmade things or op-shop finds. I can’t remember but it was probably a card Illustrated by my friend Eloise White (Crafty Love Studio), or a stamp from Sandra Waine. Both incredibly creative and talented!

Julia is currently working towards an exhibition exploring New Zealand native flowers, together with Eloise White of Crafty Love Studio. The exhibition will be held at the West Coast Gallery in Piha in December. And she’s just featured on TVNZ’s latest episode of Neighbourhood (series 4, episode 2), about folk from all over the world who call New Zealand home (Julia’s interview starts at 15:30).

Julia has also very kindly offered a prize for one lucky Felt blog reader: a gorgeous sterling silver little triangle knuckle ring worth $50 (below). To win this sweet ring, leave a comment telling us what you like about Julia’s story and her silverwork. The draw will be made on Friday 27 March and is open to New Zealand residents only.

juliamarin triangle knuckle ring

Stacks of beautiful rings

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Rings on her fingers, bells on her toes… stacks of new jewellery ready to go!

From Zazing, we have these ingenious and intriguing double finger rings, in elegant swooping silver loops. Nikki assures us they are very comfortable and allow the full range of movement. She’s even tested them out typing, doing the dishes, cooking and driving, just to make sure!


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And these wee copper lovelies from Ply caught our eye too – what beautiful hammered detail! Kate likes to work in simple hammered textures, as well as using stamped designs like dandelion motifs. She then treats them with patina to bring out the pattern. She reckons it’s so much fun she has to resist doing it to all of them!


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There are so many beautiful rings on Felt to choose from, made here in New Zealand by our talented jewellers, you can have gorgeous jewellery wherever you go. Have a browse!