About us, Martyn Milligan making nz jewellery since 1995 Rinopai Golden Bay
Story of nz Jeweller Martyn Milligan at Rinopai in Golden Bay
Rinopai Ironworks Workshop. Est:1995
A small Independent jewellery workshop situated on the slopes of Mt Rinopai in Golden Bay / Mohua, close to the Northern tip of Te Wai Pounamu. An arm of the Tasman sea, the bay lies northwest of Tasman Bay / Tai-o-Aorere and Cook Strait.
After several years of training in the workshops of local jewellers Michael Ayling and Peter Meares, I started the Rinopai Workshop in 1995 after the birth of our son. My tiny shed became my workshop. Off grid, using mostly hand tools and a generator to run the polishers, I designed and released my first range into TheVault in 1995.
From these small beginnings the Rinopai design range has grown and found itself into many design stores nationwide.
I have been lucky to have some really good assistants at different times, however I have always tried to stay close to the workbench as making is what I enjoy the most.
Redmānuka emerged from my flower necklace and bracelet series. A feature of life here at Parapara is the red ochre that occurs in the rivers and from which Parapara gets its name. This red ochre combined with the hillsides of white summer flowering Mānuka combine to create Redmānuka, which has become the name of our website as well as our home gallery.
"I try to make pieces that reflect what I am interested in. I love living at Parapara, on the edge of the Kahurangi national park. For over thirty years my jewellery making and daily interaction with the bush surrounds have been closely linked. It is really natural for me to make flowers. I never planned it that way but I just enjoy the process even when challenging and so over the years I have really become a florist of sorts. I like my pieces to feel like they come from our place in the world, and in my case the garden in which I live, work and play.
My new directions have been to delve deeper into the microcosmos that structure the garden around us. So a telescope and microscope have become my looking glasses. Slowly this is starting to show itself in my new work.
I feel lucky to have developed a style of work which closely matches my experience of living here at Parapara."
Currently Frith Wilkinson assists with the website orders, allowing me to focus on the making. We continue to collaborate on the design process.
The Rinopai workshop and Redmānuka gallery is situated at Parapara in Golden Bay and is open to visit in the summer each year.
I attend The Nelson Market , Saturdays 9am - 1pm, Westend in the central isle.
Frith attends the Tākāka summer market.
Our gallery is open daily in the summer and by appointment at other times.