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The Jewellery Box


Wed 20 Jun 2018, 10:00am–4:30pm
Thu 21 Jun 2018, 10:00am–4:30pm
Fri 22 Jun 2018, 10:00am–4:30pm
Sat 23 Jun 2018, 10:00am–4:30pm
Sun 24 Jun 2018, 10:00am–4:30pm

Where: Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, 12 Bruce St, Masterton, Wairarapa

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: Aratoi

Thirteen jewellery artists are featured in the Wairarapa for six weeks in an exhibition of their exquisite contemporary jewellery design.

Jewellery is perhaps the most personal of all the arts. Humans have been adorning our bodies with jewellery since prehistoric times. The stone, bone and shell of prehistory have evolved into precious metals, enamel and gems.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for artisans,” says exhibition coordinator and craft jeweller Liz Cheetham of Masterton. “It’s very humbling to have people come and see our work. Many of us create from home, and it’s great exposure to exhibit at a regional museum.”

On display: Necklaces, chains, chokers, earrings, rings, bracelets, pins, brooches, pendants and cufflinks in a variety of materials. Sterling silver. Gold or gold leaf. Brass. Copper. Diamond. Emerald. Garnet. Greenstone. Labradorite. Paua shell. Pearl.

“There’s no competition among us,” says Cheetham. “Our designs are very different and everything is newly created: none of the 150 or so items of jewellery has been exhibited before.”

The 13 exhibiting artists – Kate Cameron-Donald, Liz Cheetham, Rose David, Briony Dyson, Charlotte Kerr, Francis Kirkham, Kat Monien, Helen Punton, Sandra Schmid, Sue Shore, Mary Wall, Elizabeth Walters and Megan Young – are based across the Wairarapa and the Wellington Region.

Of them all, Francis Kirkham has the most experience, with over 30 years in the profession – pattern-making, manufacturing, retailing, designing, teaching and exhibiting jewellery – whether in England, New Zealand or Rarotonga.

Liz Cheetham studied with Francis Kirkham about ten years ago and has never looked back, travelling as far as Tanzania to experience mining semi-precious stones. She works year-round on her jewellery and her home workshop is filled with tools and machinery. In the future, she and Kirkham may run jewellery workshops together.

Several theories exist on the origins of the word ‘jewel’ – from the Latin for 'play', 'pastime', 'plaything', or 'that which causes joy'. The sense of jewel as a precious stone developed later, in the 14th century, meaning ‘beloved person’.

The jewellery is for sale.