When creative people combine their talents, anything can happen.
Collective Talents, which opened under the Nautilus in Orewa last month, is a fine example of this, bringing together the skills of jewellery maker Helen Bakker and apparel and pattern tutor Michelle Erasmus. A number of other crafts people are also involved, including ‘quilting queen’ Sharron Erbacher.
Helen and Michelle have known each other for nearly a decade and share a love of craft and fabric as well as years of experience teaching others. Helen’s father was a bespoke tailor, and although she specialises in jewellery making, she was immersed in the world of textiles, fabric and design from an early age.
Collective Talents is a ‘design and make space’, offering workshops and opportunities to share and learn skills.
There is also a retail element, with jewellery and NZ-made designer products for sale as well as Brother sewing machines. There is fabric for sale and plans to offer fabric printing.
Craft has gone high tech, and the support of Brother NZ means Collective Talents has the latest equipment, including a Digital Scanner and Cutting machine.
Machines like this enable unlimited design opportunities and bring a new element of excitement for both experienced craftspeople and beginners.
A Cover Stitch machine, and Brother sewing machines are available for workshops that include learn to sew, cushion making, quilting, dressmaking and more.
Craftspeople can also use the machines to work on their own projects.
Helen has an extensive range of jewellery supplies for sale and offers jewellery making classes. Her latest pendants have been made drawing on skills such as scrap booking and ceramics.
Helen and Michelle say nearly two generations have grown up without learning crafts like sewing from their parents. “Those skills are being lost and classes like this are filling that gap,” Helen says.
Helen says while a lot of networking and marketing takes place online – and bookings for Collective Talents’ classes can also be done online – when it comes to learning a skill there’s no replacement for a hands-on experience.
“We aim to provide a creative hub that offers something unique for the community,” Michelle says.