Finding young creators can be surprisingly hard even in a post-social media landscape. Instagram has provided a free platform for artists to share and promote their work but sniffing out local creatives near you can still prove difficult.
It’s 2021 and COVID’s not going anywhere so we need to start supporting local artists. I don’t need to tell you how many people have lost their job, and in a field where creatives often work in the hospitality sector- they need our support more than ever.
I’ve scoured the Instagram follow lists of NZ based creatives so that you can take a peek, have a gander and exercise your wallet in exchange for something dope and handmade.
Cover image: @naaytu
Naaytu is a concept store for a sustainable colourful every day. From Sebastian seashells to body-positive nude torsos, their restocks are highly anticipated. Alongside selling dreamy hand-poured candles, Anahita & Nathan practice an earth-friendly business practice. On their website, you can find carefully curated vintage homewares as well as their “perfectly imperfect” series. These are candles that didn’t quite make the cut to sell at full price but are truly one-of-a-kind pieces.
Whether it’s charming moon bud vases or organic forms with otherworldly expressions, Yeonjae is a ceramic artist that creates mesmerising works fitting for both galleries and the coffee table. There is something so ethereal and almost undisturbed about the work Yeonjae creates which makes her one of my favourite ceramic artists.
Alice Duncan-Gardiner is a textile artist based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Another multi-disciplined artist, Alice's handmade geometric rugs can add a little spice to your floor or wall. Overlocked and backed, her tuft rugs are designed to be a forever piece. If you’re thinking- wow, is it weird that I want to wear her rugs? Well, Alice also makes a range of hand-knitted vests to fill that cosy need.
Devyn is a glass kiwi artist who has made a name for themself through her glass fruit series. Using the lost-wax casting technique which dates back to the Ancient Greeks, Devyn creates luminescent glass fruit that is both striking and contemporary. Part of the fun is the hues the artist chooses- colours you wouldn’t expect fruit to be like pinks, greens, yellows and blues which give it a sophisticated pop-art aesthetic.
Walk in the Park is an NZ based wood-working design studio, which produces both commercial and art objects by the practice of wood-turning. Sam is the artist, designer and maker behind Walk in the Park. Celebrating the variations of wood in New Zealand, Sam creates works that blend the organic with the domestic. From wooden mills (grinders) that would look right at home in a gallery space, to beautifully etched cutting boards, Walk in the Park brings a piece of sculpture into your home.
Sam Young is an independent potter/artist based in Tauranga. Creating works of pottery, illustration and painting, Sam’s skillset continues to blow me away. With a home-based pottery studio- she creates a range of vessels that blend her modern and bright artistic style with her love for potter.
The artist behind this ceramic brand keep their identity on the d-low and lets their artwork speak not only for itself but for the charities and organisations that they support. With each sake of their works which so far have been stunning organic forms mixed with a contemporary edge, they donate a portion of their sale. capitalism is disappearing is committed to redistributing their wealth by donating 10% of each sale to various charities such as Sisters Inside, Grass Roots and other First Nation organisations.
Studio Lemaire is a pottery brand run by clay artist Sophie. Studio Lemaire brings together industrial design processes with the authenticity of handmade craftsmanship. Ranging from multi-purposed nose tumblers (think tea cup or pot plant) to beautiful hand-glazed trinket bowls, Sophie has created a brand that encourages new ways of thinking.
Greta Menzies is an artist and designer based in Wellington. Greta creates some of my favourite illustrations and ceramic works because she creates (what she calls) grotesque works of art. Unusual and a little offbeat, Greta’s art plays with tropes such as doubleness, hybridity and metamorphosis. Right now, she’s doing a 100 make-a-thing-a-day challenge so you can watch Greta push her creativity and make something new every day!
Olivia Edginton is a textile and illustrative artist based in Wellington. Her rugs feature bright, quirky designs that mix her love of illustration with the tactility of fluffy rugs. Hand-tufting both panel style rugs as well as singular panel rugs, Olivia’s playful and sunny style, has captivated people worldwide. Recently she’s been focusing on illustration, which resulted in a collaboration with NZ clothing brand Checks. The collab saw Olivia create care-free accessories to accompany the hotter days.
Chances are you’ve already seen the Wundaire Terrazzo tableware. The Terrazzo series mimics the namesake stone where colourful marble, granite, silicious stone mixes with cement to create beautiful tiles. The artist, Felicity, has reinterpreted this design and applied it to ceramics! The popularity of this series has led to a big brand following in NZ as well as overseas.
Susan is the artist and designer behind formantics- a brand that reflects her aesthetic of combining great form with a playful attitude. If you like abstract shapes and wiggles then you’re gonna like this one. A combination of form and function, Susan’s ceramics vary from abstract vases to arching incense holders, stating that even the most functional pieces of home decoration should be arresting and beautiful.