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Photograph of Nicki Cliff from Lilygriffin

I feel very lucky to have been born in New Zealand.  I remember long lazy school holidays camping in Oakura Bay and Mangawhai Heads, making daisy and buttercup chains, investigating beach rockpools, and going on bushwalks through native forests.  Fresh air, clean water, vibrant colours and the sweet smells of grass and flower.  

I wanted to find a way to evoke these memories in my jewellery, through exploring new techniques.  My artistic background is in painting and sculpture, so I experimented with porcelain paint and sculpting fine silver to bring native flora and fauna to life. I am completely self-taught, finding my own way through testing out ideas, and researching techniques.  My designs are cast in sterling silver, and then come to life through handcrafting.

All the sculpting, sanding, cutting, filing, grinding, soldering, polishing, painting, bonding, firing, burnishing, plating, hammering, shaping, wire wrapping and assembling is carefully and precisely done in my small studio in Auckland, overlooking our courtyard garden.  I do this around looking after our little girl, Lily, and little boy, Griffin.  Getting the work/life balance right is sometimes tricky, but it helps to have very supportive family and friends!

Nicki x

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