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Totty Bowman

Beach Brains meets Totty Bowman.

Q – Tell us what got you into Jewellery design? Are you planning on this becoming your full time gig?

Early last year I was introduced to Sharon Fitness, one of the metal technicians at Auckland University who also happens to be an awesome contemporary jeweller. I am studying at Elam School of Fine Arts and had until then taken a very formal and antiseptic approach to art making. She taught me to not take it all so seriously and that anything can be art or jewellery, it doesn’t need to be polished or perfect.

I work in multiple fields of art and each field compliments and influences the other. I prefer this approach to making and do not intend to focus solely on one practice. Though jewellery making is quickly becoming one of my more prominent interests...

Q – What inspires you to make jewellery?

I have found a unique curiosity for the craft. I gain a sense of satisfaction and completion that I do not feel quite so often in my other practices (sculpture/installation).
Bringing a small object into the world is a great feeling, but the highlight is handing over these objects to another. And this is what inspires me to make jewellery. It is about people. The aspect of jewellery which intrigues and delights me is the tradition of these small objects staying close to somebody their whole life, and then those same small objects being handed down to the next generation. They function as personal relics, holding so many stories on their surface. I do not believe jewellery needs to be delicate and pristine to be considered special. Like people, it can be imperfect. I make sure that the processes I use are evident on each piece.

Q – Best drink spots in AK?

Anywhere with a good glass of wine that I completely can’t afford! Bar Celeste and Clay are my go-tos. Places with weekly menu changes and people who are passionate about what they do. Otherwise a generous glass of Campari at my flat tends to do the trick.

Q – 5 songs you can’t stop listening to?

Utu - Eno X Dirty
That’s O.K. - Jonwayne
Velvet Leaves - Puma Blue
Sweet Va Breeze - Shelly FKA DRAM
(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding

Q – 2021 design/business plans?

Next year will be my fourth and potentially final year (Hons) at Elam, this will be my main focus and priority. However I always find time to make jewellery and I will continue to work hard on refining my brand - with the help of some very talented friends.