Interview With Kiri Schumacher - Creator of the First Light Jewellery
We make sense of the world around us through collective myth. Feminine, filigree designs draw an association with a fairytale aesthetic.
The maker of the First Light Flower Jewellery talks about her botanically inspired creations and her love of nature.
Kiri Schumacher is the creator of the exquisite range of gold and silver First Light Jewellery made available this year through the First Light Flower Essences of NZ website. Deeply immersed in the world of art, Kiri has a degree in Art History from Auckland University and Fine Arts degree from Elam, specialising in sculpture and photography. Kiri enjoys the flexibility of working at home with a dedicated work space and specialised tools to create the fine art jewellery you see on the website today. She has natural healing gifts and uses First Light flower essences when working with clients in a healing capacity and on herself when tuning into the spirit of nature for her work.
Where do you get the inspiration for your creations?
“I have always been attracted to nature and have felt a close affinity to the plant kingdom from a young age. It is where my inspiration comes from. I love getting close to the beauty of flowers and have been taking detailed macro shots of plants for many years. The beauty of the human form has also been the subject of my close up photography and throughout the years these two forms of beauty have allowed my art to evolve into the contemporary form it is today. They have been brought together to form the jewellery that I create.”
Both Kiri’s artistic and healing practices draw upon a close relationship with the botanical world. Her jewellery symbolically represents the beauty of this world and the merging of nature with humanity.
“For me, my jewellery making took on a natural progression from regular designs into the more organic world of plant design. I started to look for shape and patterns within nature for my creations. If you strip back everything, right down to the elemental quality of a plant, you begin to observe a simple purity that exists. There is a truth to that quality that cannot be described in words. You begin to notice the essence of that form. The curve of the koru; the shape of a stamen; the direction a leaf takes. I often ask myself ‘What is this telling me about the plant? What is the plant saying to us?’ Spending the time drawing a plant makes you appreciate and notice attributes that people normally do not see.”
What makes your work different from others?
“Each piece is an expression of Spirit. Each is individually blessed, and this blessing is tailored to the person who receives it. All of the First Light Jewellery range is inspired by nature and are a wonderful complement to the respective First Light Flower Essence of the same name.”
The Tree Fuchsia necklace, which is related to the First Light Plant Essence No 65 Tree Fuchsia, seems to be a popular item as it expresses feminine power. Like the other designs it is beautifully delicate and a lot of care and attention has gone into its creation. Someone gifted with clairvoyant sight once commented to Kiri about the bracelet she had made saying “oh there are fairies in your bracelet!”
How do you work when you are designing your jewellery?
“While I create a piece I work mostly in silence. In this way I enter into a form of meditation with nature. My hands are busy moving, creating the design, while my heart and mind are still so that I can tune in to what needs to be done. In this way I can ask my soul ‘What creativity can come through me today?’ and I can get answers very quickly. I work a lot differently now to what I used to. I work more with the natural rhythm of my body respecting its need for rest and taking time to walk out in nature. I begin each day with meditation and a big part of my day is spent in communication with nature. Through the work I do on myself and the powerful use of the First Light essences, this connection with nature is kept alive in me so that it comes through my work.”
Kiri attended the 2012 Medicine Woman Residential Retreat in November and linked in to the incredible feminine power and energy that this event brings. It is one of those unique magical events that could only happen in Aotearoa New Zealand and Kiri commented on how our country is also a pioneer in the field of jewellery making.
“We have a reputation for making quite organic and unusual pieces. New Zealand breaks the rules of jewellery making and it is fascinating to see what comes out of this. Our designs appear in fashion magazines around the world, on celebrities and in places with the newest fashion trends. We push the boundaries and people love it.”
Aotearoa New Zealand, known by the ancients as the pulse of ancient Hawaiiki, is the home of some of the world’s most unique flora and fauna. Their unique healing gifts are what make the First Light Flower Essences of New Zealand so powerful and effective. The people of this land are also becoming pioneers in their fields and it is inspiring to hear of stories that recognise New Zealand as a place that is changing the world. We love it Kiri. Thank you for being part of this most dynamic time in the world’s history and for your wonderful jewellery.