I have just heard the best idea ever. Local jeweller, Lauren Haynes, is intending to hold workshops for couples to show them how to make each other’s engagement or wedding rings. Brilliant.
Lauren and son Tai Manawa, 2, have been back in Raglan seven months, during which time Lauren has started jewellery workshops designed to initiate the novice through to advanced. Her goal is to maintain a lifestyle – the one we all moved here for – whilst making her own way, in her own time. Not interested in planting a massive footprint in this world she is happy to engage with her art, which mirrors life … how it evolves and changes. All the while sustaining that elusive balance. Lauren allows son Tai to guide her.
Lauren (Ngatai) is from Torere on the East Cape and credits strong ancestral and whanau ties for a creativity that intrinsically adopts principles of Wairua – in life and in work. She sees the workshops as a way of sharing knowledge and skills; in return she is stimulated by the enthusiasm and energy of others. It is a symbiotic learning environment. Lauren’s jewellery is unique as she is attracted to things unusual, she points out that jewellery is not just about metal and focuses on each piece as a process rather then emulating iconic styles. There is obviously a market for individuality, as Lauren currently sells work in discerning galleries throughout New Zealand, including Jet and Matapihi here in Raglan.
It was a serendipitous – yet survival driven – turn that prompted Lauren into designing jewellery. To fund her travels through Europe, Africa and Asia, she would lay out cloth wherever she may be to sell necklaces made of paua, or if need be, offer them as koha in return for food or lodging. On her return home she enrolled at Hungry Creek Art and Craft School, just north of Puhoi, for a three-year intensive course. Lauren has also had the opportunity to study under renowned Dutch jeweller and artist, Ruudt Peters, at his school in Amsterdam. At Hungry Creek their philosophy is to encourage students to be innovative not imitative and Peters is a leading exponent of contemporary design. His interest in mysticism proves to be a rich source, full of symbols, and meanings. Peters believes that alchemy is a philosophy that moves between intuition and knowing, and it is with this principle that he encourages students to discover their own potential. There is a spiritual element to the work rather than mere technical.
Laurens workshops run from a one-day introduction to two-day intensives through to the two-day advanced design classes. I am particularly interested in the Recycle, Reclaim and Repair class that allows you to revamp and modify old jewellery… like Aunty Pru’s pearl cluster necklace in the dress-up box or that exquisite turquoise silver choker bought in Tijuana in ‘72 not worn since.
Laurens next workshop dates are:
1-day introduction — Saturday July 2nd
2 day intensive — Saturday/Sunday July 9th/10th
To register interest or enrol in a workshop please call Lauren on 021 617791 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
As her workshops become more popular Lauren is also interested in forming a collective art centre in Raglan whereby artisans across all mediums have a combined space in which to create a living, breathing studio where people can watch artists at work. Yet another brill idea and if anyone out there knows of a space or has an idea to contribute let Lauren know.