16 July 2010

A Conversation with Mel of Wildflower Designs

Here we are again, with another chat with one of our wonderful artists.  This time we're talking with Mel Stothers, whose amazing jewelry can be found on both Etsy and Felt.  To get to know her even better, check out her site at http://www.wildflowerdesigns.co.nz/.

Who is Mel Stothers?
Many things! In no particular order ... mother, wife, employee, friend, lover of shiny colourful things, creator.

What’s your “handmade groove ?”
Love, love, love jewellery design and all it encompasses and hence Wildflower Designs came to be. The endless possibilities of creation - colour, shape, form, and the variety of different media that can be used just blows my mind.

What’s on your bedside table right now? (hey, no tidying up or censoring)
Ummm… I actually don’t have one. But the floor next to my bed holds a variety of magazines – Fitness, Next, Homestyle, Extra Curricular, World Sweet World and 3 library books – all ‘how to’ books of various types. I don’t read fiction but DIY is a bit of a passion. I have a mental list of things I want to make and talents I want to acquire – gibstopping – can it really be that hard!? Oh, and 2 kids library books as every night my 2 boys and I snuggle into my bed and read – I treasure this time so much – trying to take mental pictures of their facial profiles and general gorgeousness whilst trying to ignore the competitive arguments over whose book we read first! Ah... and a hairclip.

Who are your creative role models? What music, books, images, poetry spark your creative fire?
I have met some amazingly talented people in the last year in particular – both on-line and in person. I am constantly inspired by the New Zealand creative force and the commitment and drive to spreading the word on quality ‘Handmade’. The NZ Art and Craft community is a vibrant, supportive wonderland!

Books – April Fool’s Day by Bryce Courtenay (a raw account a true family tragedy and recovery and the reason I will probably never read fiction again – real life is so much more interesting as this book attests), The New Zealand Collection of Short Stories given to me by my Dad when I was a teenager (If another fiction book every comes along to match this one, I might be tempted to give it a try – Witi Ihimaera, Fiona Kidman, all the greats– brilliant).

Music – I can’t work without background noise – anything Pearl Jam or the so-called ‘Seattle Sound’ works well for me. If I’m feeling reminiscent, The Exponents or Cold Chisel may even find their way out!

What could you talk late into the night about with like minded people?
More a listener than a talker, so whatever my company wants to talk about, I’ll happily hear.

If you could go to three free workshops/creative events this year which ones would they be? What are they about?
Craft 2.0 was something I had on my wish list and was delighted to attend in the company of 2 other NZ Handmade members – fab.

Would love to attend Craft Affair in Christchurch, and the Auckland Craft Fair – they will both be amazing events.

How do you balance your creative life with your family, life commitments?
Not sure I ever get it quite right – but the aim is family and friends first, pay the bills 2nd, then create, create, create. I find lists are now invaluable – nothing quite like ticking things off as done 

What is your favourite creative screw-up?
‘Favourite’ and ‘Screw-up’ in the same sentence … Uh uh..take it apart and start again!

Kitchen table or studio?
Neither, lounge floor. Yes, really :)

Do you have a wish list? Can you tell us what’s on it?
Purely creatively speaking - to discover an extra hour in the day. To conquer self-doubt and believe in myself and my abilities, to one day go back to Venice and find the awe-inspiring glass-blowing workshop I visited as a 10 year old, to do the Diploma in Contemporary Crafts (I will need that extra hour in my day).


  1. WOW!!! Mel, what a cool interview, the trip to Venice must have been magic, I know that they have a Wanganui Art Summer School class in glass blowing, could be fun. cheers Marie

  2. Such lovely photos of your beautiful creations... I like the description of your night reading with your boys.

  3. Awesome Mel!!! So with you on that extra hour a day thing:)
    Your work looks amazing and your photos are beautiful. Well done!


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