We feel so lucky to have such an amazing crew of tutors at Workspace. They have such a diverse range of skills, styles and ideas, but are all warm, friendly and passionate about passing on their knowledge!

Vaune Mason

Creative Director

" I absolutely love sharing my enthusiasm for making with my students. Professionally, I have been working as a jeweller and a tutor since 2005. I now live and work from my home-based studio in Apiti, in the beautiful Manawatu - so I am a long way from our original Workspace studio. However, due to the wonders of the internet I am still an active member of the Workspace team.  I work on my own jewellery,  The Wild Jewellery which is a brand I created with Annie Collins, and I am a creative Director for The Makers Jewellery. 

I am also the travelling tutor for Workspace, so you will see me around NZ when time allows, teaching at local halls and arts schools.

For me, the challenge is to find creatively fulfilling time for myself at the bench - in between the admin of managing several arts-businesses. 

When I am not at work, I enjoy gardening, spinning,  chilling with my three small dogs, and caring for a small farmlet (chooks, sheep, cows) with my sister. "

Annie Collins

Creative Director

" I've been making jewellery for almost 20 years and teaching for 16 but students continue to surprise and challenge me! I think the best things about teaching are creative problem solving and meeting people from all walks of life who discover their own joy in creating. Our Christchurch workshop is lovely to work from and we're offering new classes all the time. When I'm not teaching and running Workspace, I am making and selling in galleries around New Zealand under my labels Buster Collins and The Wild (with Vaune Mason), as well as being a Creative Director of The Makers and a mum of three."

Gemma Miller

Tutor - Wellington

"I think jewellery is worn for a reason and those reasons usually have interesting stories and histories behind them.  I love conversations around jewellery, metallurgy and gemmology.  There is so much science that seems like magic when working with precious metals and I love sharing that!  

Making jewellery by hand is as unique to an individual as their handwriting and I enjoy meeting new people through teaching at Workspace who bring their own take on what they want their first pieces to look like.

I have been making jewellery for over 10 years and have experience working in many jewellery workshops. I began tutoring for Workspace in 2015 and I am a creative Director of The Makers Jewellery.  My personal jewellery brand is GG Jewellery.  I look forward to meeting you in class, or the gallery soon!"

Debbie Bishop

 Workshop Manager - Christchurch

"My curiosity for jewellery came at a young age, however the fire under my passion was not lit till 2009 when I melted sterling silver for the 1st time, watching sliver gracefully roll around in the crucible is when I fell heart and soul in love with the jewellery making process.

I thoroughly enjoy teaching, the best part for me is when I watch a student admire a finished piece, seeing that look of pride and happiness on their faces, and knowing that feeling, brings me great joy to know I helped them achieve that feeling."

Thorn Richards

Workshop Manager - Wellington

"The mystery and alchemy of metal-smithed jewellery has fascinated me since childhood, especially treasures ancient or uncanny. After studying sculpture for a number of years it was Workspace Studios that reignited this interest in jewellery and helped me embark on a treasure crafting journey of my own. To me, jewellery is like sculpture that hugs, clings from, armours and extends our bodies. The creative environment here and the opportunity to help students along their journeys is deeply rewarding. As evident in my work, I love the organic yet alien forms found in crustaceans, thornwoods, insects and bones. "

Natalie Halley

Tutor - Wellington

"Creating jewellery provides me with a deep sense of fulfilment. I prefer working on one-off pieces, giving myself a challenge with each new body of work. What I love about jewellery making is the wealth of techniques and materials, ensuring a lifetime of learning and improving. I enjoy adding an element of playfulness to my works, often with moving parts. With a background in science, I particularly relish the technicality of littleengineered pieces. I feel very lucky to be able to work from my home studio, overlooking the beautiful Wellington harbour and a nature reserve - surrounded by birdsong and my own various pets."

Claire McSweeney

Tutor - Wellington

 

“ Back when I went to Art School I thought I would be a painter or maybe a printmaker but then after trying my hand at Jewellery & Metalsmithing I knew that was the medium for me. I just loved experimenting with different materials to create jewellery that can tell a story for the person who wears it.  When I moved to Wellington just over 3 years ago I was lucky enough to find Workspace Studios where I work from both tutoring night classes and making jewellery. I really enjoy sharing my knowledge with a wide variety of people, challenging myself to learn new techniques to teach and seeing the pleasure students get from making something with their own two hands! “

Emily Napolitano

Tutor - Christchurch

"I started my lampworking and silversmithing journey in 2004, training at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago.  I went on to teach lampworking classes there and to showcase and sell my work at a number of Chicago galleries and shops. I love the way glass moves in the flame, and how something as simple as a round bead can become infinitely complex. Outside of teaching at Workspace Ōtautahi I am Head of Textiles at Rangi Ruru Girls' School and am a company member and choreographer with Rebound Dance Company.

Amanda Greenfield

Tutor - Christchurch

 

"While working in galleries I became increasingly drawn to objects and particularly to contemporary jewellery.  I’ve never been into bling and was blown away by artists contemporary take on the traditions of silversmithing.  Having an interest in history I’m drawn to stylistic elements of ancient artifacts and their social context and meaning.  Now given the oppportunity to make I am experimenting with interpreting these elements into my own work. I enjoy teaching and love watching students response to the magic of metal."

Becci Short

Tutor - Christchurch

"What I love about working with metal is the connection and understanding you acquire with the process. I find it hard to describe, or maybe you just have to ‘feel’ it for yourself. With jewellery making, it feels like there’s just such a creative array of new techniques and processes to feed my knowledge hungry brain. I feel I’ve conquered one challenge then realise there’re many other elements available to learn! Be it new settings, new metals, new tools, a never ending exploration, It’s great! I started to turn a curiosity in to a passion 2 and a half years ago, as a student at workspace. I loved it. I also love to be around people so I enjoy helping teach others, seeing them experience, learn and feel the process for themselves, helping them to create and bring their ideas to life."

Callum Davidson

Tutor - Christchurch

"I started learning to blacksmith and make knives on my own 8 years ago. At that time there was very little in the way of good tuition in that field in NZ and so I spent many hours trawling the internet and libraries for any scraps of knowledge I could concerning this seemingly arcane art. Now, thanks to the internet and media exposure, the awareness of this craft is growing exponentially. It is my mission to share my hard-won skills with my students, hopefully teaching in days what took me months to learn on my own and kindling new passion in my craft that will hopefully allow it to grow and develop for many more generations. "

Jennie Deniston

Tutor - Wellington

"I have always felt I was a creative person but could never find my medium - I am terrible at painting and drawing. Then one day I sat at a jewellery bench and something just clicked for me and I realised I'd found "it".  I started making jewellery full time in 2019 and have not looked back. There is something about waking up with an idea and being able to hold it in your hands by the end of the day that I find so satisfying and fulfilling! I love working with texture in metal and crafting one of a kind pieces. 

 

Along with teaching at Workspace since the start of 2021, I also run my own jewellery business called Heavy Metals Jewellery. "