Jasmine Watson

I am a lover of the geometric shapes, symmetry and intricacies that New Zealander Jasmine Watson’s work portrays.  She utilises repeating patterns in a graceful and ornamental symmetry that remind me of my grandmother’s intricate and delicate crochet lace work.  Already a trained and experienced jeweller Watson set out to learn the rare and complex technique of enamelling.  The featured works in her 2011 exhibition ‘Subsequence’ are her renowned enamel brooches where she has utilised this ancient technique of hand-made enamel jewellery that has stylised her work and won her many awards.

My work is inspired by ornamental patterns and complex detail based on mathematical principles. I am interested in geometry and tessellations; interlocking shapes that can assemble into elaborate ornamental sequences, repeating to infinity – Watson, J

Many things inspire me about Watson’s work; her use of intricate eastern/western inspired pattern, geometric arrangements and shapes (especially the circle), harmonious colours,  and the great craftsmanship that she displays.  Included in exhibited works, nationally and internationally, Watson also features her drawings as they themselves are works of art, and are an integral part of her creative process of her enamel works.  Using watercolour and pencil she is able to elaborate on the different stages in her design development – a strategy that I would like to experiment with in my own art practice to incorporate colour in the otherwise grey sketches. Maybe this will encourage me to draw more.

Many people know Watson for the elaborate jewellery designs that she created for the motion pictures  ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’.  An incredibly talented artisan!


Images and content retrieved on the 11th March 2014 from:





Tania Patterson

When researching for my current project I looked into other artists whose work could either inspire my processes or assist me in figuring out how things are made. When considering small object sculpture as an art form, I cant go far without coming across many talented jewelers and their meticulous skills.

Tania Patterson is a jeweler who uses moving components in her pieces. I looked into her work to gather ideas about how small object sculpture can be made with sophisticated techniques that allow for play and movement by the wearer.

I work mainly in silver, but often combine this with copper, titanium, wood or stone. Moving parts or mechanisms have been a feature of my exhibition work. I enjoy making work that the wearer can interact with. Brooches with handles to wind, wheels to turn or buds to open. I like designing and making work with another dimension to it – an element of surprise, the unexpected.

Images retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/TaniaPattersonJewellery, 13th November 2013.

Quote retrieved from http://www.form.co.nz/artists/tania_patterson.htm, 13th November 2013.

Celebrating love: a glimpse of my vocation as Marriage Celebrant

With much gratitude and appreciation to Victoria & Alain for kindly sharing their special day with us, and Elysium Productions for the marvelous video.

Survival Skills as a provincial Artist – wise words from Richard Parker

Visit Richard Parkers latest exhibition in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Visit Richard Parkers latest exhibition in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Each week at Ideaschool, where I study Arts and Design, all are welcome to the ‘Friday Lunchbox’. The Friday Lunchbox is an hour of our school day (during lunch) where a speaker from the arts community gives a presentation based on their field of expertise.  This weeks ‘Lunchbox’ featured New Zealand’s acclaimed and influential ceramic artist Richard Parker, and he passed on some very wise words regarding how provincial artists can survive by a list of simple methods that he has developed through his 30 years as a successful practicing artist.

I want to share with you the tips that I felt the strongest response to, and I hope that they also spark something for you in your creative endeavors.



  • Get your hands straight into it at the beginning of the day to avoid procrastination
  • Set 3 small tasks each day to accomplish, rather than an over ambitious ‘to do’ list
  • Start work early, after having attained quality sleep the night before. It is said that the best restorative sleep one can have is before the clock strikes midnight
  • Use simple daily affirmations – morning and night
  • Support your dealers
  • Care for your customers
  • Have professional images taken of your works, as only good images get published
  • Keep CV up to date and looking good
  • Never give up
  • Make little positive changes every day
  • Develop a healthy relationship with money, and be good at asking for it
  • Money sustains us. Develop a healthy relationship with money. Don’t be afraid to state your worth
  • Consider your artist statement carefully, drawing inspiration from your visual diary and keeping words to three paragraphs maximum
  • Think globally!
  • Avoid spending time with people who have negative and self-destructive attitudes or behaviours
  • Avoid overeating. It dulls the mind and spirit. Avoid sugar. Stay sharp.
  • Avoid fear. Face it head on and watch it disappear
  • Develop a technique for handling rejection

The most significant influence that Richard Parker made for me, was the reminder to put my creative life first and foremost. In doing so, I am able to sustain my own life forces and be a better mother and partner as a result. If I am happy, then the family will be happy also. Richard referred to Art as our ‘life blood’, and making art must be a priority in life, not one to be left until you have enough time. So tonight, I happily leave the dishes in the sink knowing that I will sleep easier once I have taken the time to feed my creative soul.

Welcome to my Home

This is my physical space in the world.  In the rural countryside of Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, I live on a 12 acre shared property with 2 other families, our 4 dogs, 3 cows (one of which provides us with our daily delicious milk), a dozen chickens (whose eggs we consume with gratitude) and their rooster man, 50 alpacas (or so) including 9 new babies, and a miniature horse who runs the whole show. My partner, I and our 7 year old son live in a small board and batten home built by our neighbour, right smack in the middle of the farm. We get to enjoy all the benefits of farm life without working it.  Thank goodness! The hard work is carried out by the owners, who kindly have us living here as their tenants and close knit community.  It’s very important to me to have natural surroundings where I live. The moments that I have lived in suburbia, I have never quite settled as happily as I do when I have large open spaces around me. I can breathe more comfortably out here, without the traffic and hum of town or city life.  We like to call this is our ‘little spot of paradise’.

My even littler spot of paradise is my stand alone studio that is a skip, hop and a jump away from the house. As I walk past my handmade toadstools, may child self knows its time to come out to play. It is here that I escape from my household chores and have a space completely devoted to me and my creativity. I am surrounded by many books and little knick knacks that inspire me in some way.  The cows and horse are chewing grass out the window, the alpaca babies are chasing each other merrily. This place is my sanctuary. My awaiting water colour pencils are my trusted tools for making marks, as is my journal and ink nibbed pen for writing my innermost thoughts.  I write as a way to download thoughts, ideas, fears, frustrations, and epiphanies so that my mind can maintain some from of sanity. When I don’t write, I go mad.  There is only so much information that I can retain in that wee cavity that is my mind. It is the nature of me to have my head in the clouds and too far removed from physical reality, and it’s important for me to practice ways of keeping me grounded – another reason to be close to nature and the animals.  It is said that a few moments in a paddock with the alpacas, will give you the good vibes that of which you would get from swimming with a pod of dolphins. No wonder I love it here!

'Jerry' is the smallest and latest edition to the farm

‘Jerry’ is the smallest and latest edition to the farm at just two days old!

Toadstools growing right outside my studio door
Toadstools growing right outside my studio door

My private window from my desk looking out into my world and a day bed for day dreaming.

My private window from my desk looking out into my world and a day bed for day dreaming.

All too often my family find me cramming up the dining table with my stuff, and blurring the boundaries of my studio space.

All too often my family find me cramming up the dining table with my stuff, and blurring the boundaries of my studio space.