Christine is a self-taught jewellery maker and designer based near Mansfield, in the Victorian high country. “I’m pretty spoiled because I live in such a beautiful part of Australia. I have so many gorgeous native birds that visit my garden every day, and we have wombats and kangaroos regularly visiting as well. Christine finds herself surrounded by inspiration at home, “the landscape is stunning with rolling hills and the Victorian Alps nearby too”.
Christine originally trained as an interior designer but her creative journey took a circuitous route – jewellery making wasn’t even something she set out to do, but rather stumbled into it while seeking a creative outlet after a long creative break. Being made redundant was the spark required to pursue her love of design and prompt Christine to acquire the skills she needed to make her ideas come to life.
“I have spent MANY hours teaching myself Illustrator and other programs to create my designs“ she says. Christine is understandably proud of what she’s learnt, solo – armed with just a laptop and a whole lot of trial and error. “I had absolutely no experience with digital design all, but I so badly wanted to create. So, I read tutorials, watched YouTube videos, and googled tips to learn the things I needed to in order to create my designs. I am by no means an expert now - and I’m sure there are probably quicker or easier techniques out there, but I’m proud of myself for taking the plunge and skilling up – I’m now in the very fortunate position of making a living from my art.
For Christine, ‘Australiana’ is something that captures the essence of this unique and beautiful country, “I love Australian themed mementos, like tea towels and coasters, and all the daggy things as well. Australiana is so relatable, because we can all connect to it is some way – through memories of childhood, or friends or family.
Christine’s work has changed considerably over the years. The beautiful hand painted wooden earrings showcasing native Australian birds and flowers only evolved earlier this year. Prior to this, Christine was undertaking a lengthy, labour intensive process of hand drawing, scanning, transferring, shrinking and hand shaping each earring from plastic. Her desire to find a more sustainable alternative led her to the beautiful etched timber we see her working with today – and she’s completely fallen in love with it.
“Timber is so beautiful and natural. It can be painted or simply left raw so the grain and natural colouring are the feature. It’s lightweight and easy to wear as a piece of jewellery. It’s my favourite material by far.”
What memorable comments have you had about your creations?
“I think my favourite comments are the gift messages people add to their orders for friends and family. I absolutely love Christmas time and getting to see these special messages! I think my favourite one was a friend giving a pair of my Golden Wattle earrings to her best friend and the message was “Wattle I do without you”, that was a good one!
What piece of advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
I guess I would say you are capable of more than you think you are, stop doubting yourself and comparing yourself to everyone else. Just have faith in yourself and don’t be afraid to follow your dreams.
You can view Christina’s beautiful hand painted timber earrings here or enter Christine in the search bar.