Ko Kohukohunui te maunga
Ko Wairoa te awa Ko Tikapa te moana
Ko Umupuia te marae
Ko Ngai Tai te iwi
I started making jewellery in the late 1970s. My training as a diamond setter gave me a grounding in traditional jewellers techniques and a skill set that underpins all my work. Years of doing contract work for jewellery makers, led me to creating and selling my own designs through galleries and private commissions. After leaving the jewellery industry to broaden my experiences, I moved into casting glass and bronze, cutting stone and incorporating a range of materials and scale into my work.
Later I was drawn into iwi governance and representation, conservation, tourism and viticulture. For a time I was the conservation ranger on Te Motu-a-Ihenga Island in the Hauraki Gulf. Being part of reforesting and replenishing native wildlife species on a pest free island once inhabited by my ancestors was inspiring. Being a board member for my Iwi during Crown treaty negotiation and settlement was a life changing experience but being head down investigating an ancient archaeological dig often carried the greatest weight and meaning.
Recently I have returned more to my workbench and have begun adding new creations to my range of pieces. This gives me a sense of arriving back at a familiar space and process that provides a canvas for my life experiences. My new work draws on the concept of joining the past to the present to complete a full circle and begin afresh, following the signs. Mauri ora!
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