Penelope Barnhill is a local jewellery maker. From her studio in Auckland she uses a wide range of metals, gemstones, dried roses and colour glass to make stunning hand made jewellery. We thought it was a good time to get to know Penelope better and her practice as an artist.
What do you make/art practice?
It’s a deep rooted passion. I considered studying medicine but the dawning conclusion was that if I wasn’t making things I wasn’t completely happy.
What does a normal day look like for you?
Clean teeth, coffee, check for courier parcels then emails and straight down the hall to unlock the elf shop. Yesterday I started and 7am and finished at 8.30pm working on an urgent commission.
How did it all begin - where did this passion for jewellery making come from?
From picking flowers to gift and seeing a smile to all the stories my grandmother told me about her jewellery. I studied printmaking and 3D design and saw a book on tribal African jewellery. What was made with limited resources inspired me as I had little money for materials
Where do you find inspiration as an Artist?
Everywhere on our beautiful planet.
What is the themes/inspiration/stories behind your pieces?
Originally bereavement, memorial gardens developed from rosary to roses but now its more about other people, translating their personality into something they want to wear every single day.
What do you love most about working & living in Aotearoa?
Our wonderful hills to paraglide above, our seas to free dive in and the rich tapestry of our beautiful land between.
What is your studio/creative space like?
The elf shop is purely my space, only four legged creatures are allowed to share it, the consult room I’m told is beautiful/museum like/loving.
What drew you to working with The Poi Room?
I was approached by Melanie-Jane with her original business proposal, it less than a second meeting her and Clayton it was a yes from me.
Describe your relationship with The Poi Room & how our values fit with your business?
Absolutely wonderful! Genuine, honest people with outstanding characters and a passion for NZ Art…