Well the endless summer has come to an end. I still had a beach swim a couple of days ago. It is fresher than before the rain, but still it seemed to warm up after a few minutes. I love swimming with my dogs down at the beach. we are regulars, every sunny day we will show up and my funny swimming poodles will swim to fetch the sticks I throw whilst I do my best to imitate a wallowing seal in the water. It works wonders on my frame of mind, reminding me of the important things in life , like chasing sticks at sea with the poodles. Parapara beach is mostly deserted this late in the summer with most the batches empty as the bay returns to its restful quiet self.
It has been a busy summer.. Everyone is saying,“this is a summer like in I remember from my childhood” . It is true, it just seemed to stretch on and on, endless warm sunny days. I would guess the bay has had record number of visitors this summer. Town was really full with, cafe’s packed, no parking. Heaps of expensive looking S.U.V’s. There was the usual influx of Luminate followers. Youngish people in pantaloon trousers hanging about everywhere waiting for the next dance party festival to begin. My local, The Mussel Inn, really busy with its usual treat of good live music and great beer. That sort of summer.
Up here at our Parapara gallery we were quieter than usual. The weather maybe too good to do the gallery rounds There seems to have been another increase in home studio’s to visit, so the visitors get spread around. And then of course we are down a dusty valley road, across a river fiord and up a steep driveway. Still we were really pleased to see so many familiar faces. Some have been coming up since we opened, fifteen summers ago. Sales were good and so were the interesting discussions and yarns. I was working on my entry for the Wellington Academy exhibition ‘The Signing’. Dealing with facts of land ownership, local earth materials and the issues around ‘the Treaty’ made for interesting ideas being exchanged. Successfully it all came to fruition in my ‘Kokowai Pen - NFS’ piece for the show. It was great thrashing out the ideas with Paul and Deborah on their repeat visits. Always bringing new customers to view our wee gallery.
Our new summer releases were also really well received locally and nationwide. The Pohutukawa and Redmanuka Ranges were a hit. The bracelets sold out really quickly as did the Pohutukawa necklaces and earrings. I have been working on the idea for these pieces for a couple of years that it was just satisfying to finally have the idea come to fruition. The number 1 bracelets going to my regular patrons who had really encouraged me with the idea. I really like both these ranges especially the bracelets. They are good to make and when they are finished they have the feel of substantial pieces of jewellery . Pieces that I feel really proud to be a part of and really represent what I like in making jewellery. They have a strong relationship to my floral ‘Flower jewellery’ style as well as the red ochre used to colour the pieces having a strong link to Parapara and the local Red ochre Kokowai, and connecting back to my ochre pen entry for the exhibition.
So the days are shortening to match the end of my summer orders list. I am busy restocking the cabinets of The Vault, Form Gallery, Hapa, Magma, The Coolstore, Texan Arts schools, Kura and all the other retailers we stock.
My sketchbook is filling up with ideas for the winter range. I have a new flower design I started after our visit to Aoraki last winter. Another flower coming from my source book of Colonial watercolours. A feeling that I want to try something a bit more abstract , but I am not sure how that will relate to a functional jewellery range. So plenty of promise… :)
So a big thankyou to all our customers this summer. It was fun to catch up. Please stop by and say hi if you pass by the Nelson Saturday market. I am there most weeks of the year. I hope to get my mailing list more active this winter so you may be seeing me more often in your mailbox. And dont forget to swing by my RedManuka facebook page and write me a review or like my page. It is the new frontier for small workshops like ours.
Well I think that wraps summer 2015 , I’m going to miss this one... but I am waxing my snowboard. m:)