NZ Jewellery Designer

Reading my Google rankings over my morning coffee is not the best way to start the day. It makes for a perplexing set of contemplations on one's relevance when one scores so lowly for search terms that one would think describe one’s professional endeavours…..

Like for instance : New Zealand Jewellery Designers  Rank # 88.

Ok I can handle this , who am I anyway sitting on my hillside designing and making jewellery for 28 years.

So what does it mean to be a New Zealand Jewellery Designer?

My process is a little fickle. For the time of my design career I have lived a very solitary life. I mostly prefer to work alone and a normal day at Parapara involves very few human interactions. This has in ways internalised my design process. I do come up with plenty of ideas, I am a fountain of ideas when it comes to almost everything. Frith, my wife, does not find this a redeeming feature . :) But to go from a stack of idea’s to the actual developing of a design thread is much more of an inner process. For the most part I look to find an emotional link to what it is I have in mind. It does not mean that every piece I make is super heartfelt. What it does mean though is that I feel ok to stand beside my design as something that comes from me.

In many ways my isolation has spoilt me. I learnt early to delve deep internally to find answers to solutions. I was exposed to little outside jewellery influences so I developed my own particular language of constructions. I mostly work this out when walking in the hills. Living on the edge of the Kahurangi Forest, which starts at my doorstep and extends all the way down to the middle of south island, means that my daily life involves an interaction with the Bush. Walking the many trails that lead from my house allows my mind to escape. Often puffing up a steep hill the solution to a particular problem will emerge obviously clear. New ideas will spring from just feasting on the bush view, a glimpse of a Rata flower amongst the lush green canopy, looking at the tiniest of small fungi or moss growth under the lip of a rock or a branch. It is interesting, it is not necessarily that I rush back and build that exact shape , but it is more the emotional connection that I take away with me. And this is what I mean that my process is a little fickle. I get the same emotional reaction listening to Douglas Lilburn , or looking at the paintings of a number of New Zealand artists. I feel the same in front of Colin McCahon’s Northland Panels or Rita Angus’s Self Portrait and Moth, or so many other paintings. And I think that what I am reacting to is that the painters have captured and expressed the same feeling of Aotearoa that I also respond to.

So, am I a New Zealand Jewellery Designer? Well yes I am , and if Google rank me at number 88 so be it. I dont really know how I could do more to prove it. Twenty nine years living at Parapara making jewellery that melds a feeling of myself blended into the bush landscape. Maybe that's the issue, Google bots think I am a kind of Hebe hybrid.

Hebe Pakeha with pretty pink flowers. I must check that ranking. :)

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