Friday, November 27, 2009

Natures Sculptures - a collection of rings

In September this year we flew to New Zealand to visit my family and friends. I grew up in Christchurch and whenever I go home I like to visit all the places that trigger my childhood memories. Although I’ve spent almost half my life living in Australia almost all of my inspiration when it comes to creating jewellery is based on New Zealand’s nature – the smell, the texture, the air, the remoteness, the wind, the plants, the trees, the wildlife, the mountains, the ruggedness - these are the pictures in my head when I consciously think of nature.

So when we went home this time I took my little family off to Birdling’s Flat on the Canterbury peninsula. Birdling’s Flat is a beach, but it’s nothing like the beautiful sandy beaches of Australia with warm water and the sun scorching your skin, Birdling’s Flat is cold and windy and exposed to the southern seas, there’s no sand at all only cold hard rocks and stones . But that’s what I love about it, you really feel like you’re a tiny part of the universe when you’re there, there is such a feeling of wildness and open space. And it’s easy to forget about the freezing wind once you look down and start rummaging amongst the stones and pebbles and shells and driftwood which make up part of this awesome landscape, because hidden amongst the endless river of grey pebbles there are some beautiful coloured stones. I loved to fossick amongst the stones as a child and take some of them home to add to my collection of nature’s objects, - this time I fossicked with my little ones, but I didn’t add my precious finds to any collection, I packaged them up and sent them home to make into something precious to wear.

We also visited Castle Hill and stayed amongst the rocks and mountains for a few days whilst we were in New Zealand. Castle Hill is a town in the middle of the South Island and is home to an amazing natural wonder. These huge limestone rocks were once below the sea 30 million years ago. Now they are part of the mountains and are named from their ruined castle like appearance. The formations were special to the Ngai Tahu people who called it “Kura Tawhiti” – meaning “treasure from afar.”