Christine…The Artist Goldsmith

The life and work of Christine Hafermalz-Wheeler
A film by Stephanie Bennett

Visiting the purpose-built Waiheke Island workshop of artist goldsmith Christine Hafermalz-Wheeler, we instantly enter ‘A World of Difference’. The mediaeval style workbench. The shape and colour of her gemstones. The designs influenced by landscape, politics and minerals: many norms and conventions of jewellery are challenged here. “From an early age, as refugees, our home relied on making, since buying was not possible. This was reinforced at the institution where my father worked, also in my school near Stuttgart. I have always derived satisfaction from taking a process from start to finish.” Christine ??follows the life and 40-year work story of a jewellery artist from East Germany to New Zealand.

Watching over her shoulder in her purpose-built workshop on Auckland’s Waiheke Island, we see Christine gathering the ingredients for a creation (‘diamonds are my garnish’), preparing her metals and ‘composing’ a piece of jewellery with the traditional skills acquired in her 1970s German apprenticeship. Challenging the mores and conventions of industrial jewellery design, we ‘take a look into the mind of an artist’ and view the wide range of materials and concepts that she employs in her work.

David Wheeler, executive producer

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