Skip to main content

Art & Culture

Made By Hand Artists exhibit

It was almost overwhelming – the range of craft work and the degree of skill, artistry and intricate hard work presented in one exhibition.
 |  The Informer  | 

The artists for this really impressive display all live in Mercury Bay. They came together for the three-day exhibition, Made By Hand at St Andrews By the Sea Community Church in Whitianga. This kind of Exhibition happens all over The Coromandel Peninsula – there is clearly a larger number of accomplished artists of all kinds per head of the population working at their art on the Coromandel Peninsula.   

Inside the door of St Andrew’s By the Sea was the Barbie extravaganza, all dolls decked out in an array of knitted themed costumes; the work of Helen and Linda Stephenson.

Helen said, “We worked for weeks – every night we were knitting something.”

Next to that was a display of fine work with pine needles; – seemed impossible to create such beauty out of pine needles.

Every space was filled

Embroidery by Whiti Stitches, patchwork by Diane Hinds, Wood and Bone art by Glenn Schach, Crochet by Debbie Gordon, Mosaics by Anne and classes being offered in Mosaics, Whitianga Scrapbags Quilting group had a huge display in the church sanctuary area and the Creative Fibre Group illustrated in last week’s The Coromandel Informer also displayed their creations in Barry Hishon’s blacksmith work from the forge contrasted with the more feminine crochet and embroidery. Something a bit different to the variety of finger craft work was the luxury Artisan Soap display – Tiffany Jane Soaps. They looked good enough to eat.

There were a number of items for sale such as the soaps and these can be found online.

Annie Lynch and Madeline Saunders were hostesses for the Made By Hand exhibition. Next to them is the Barbie Doll display with knitted outfits by Helen and Linda Stevenson; luxury artisan soaps by Tiffany Jane Soaps, Coromandel.

Helen’s gift of art

Helen, left, with an exhibition visitor holding up the Christmas quilt.

Helen Otto is an enthusiast for knitting, sewing, embroidery and quilting.  She can put her creative mind to anything and then turn her vision into something to be admired and often used. Her display at the Made By Hand exhibition at St Andrew’s By The Sea community church in Whitianga over Matariki weekend was a testament to this.


Her crochet vegetables delighted many children – carrots, peas in a pod, cauliflowers. Her international quilted squares told a story.

At first they were the decorations on a huge Christmas tree which won a Waikato Hobby Tree Award at the Meteor Theatre Exhibition in Hamilton.  But now they make up three extraordinary quilts, one each for grandchildren in England, USA and New Zealand. For the English grandchild, each square is about a country in Europe depicting a Christmas tradition, for USA the squares are about different American traditions and for the Kiwi grandchild, the blanket is smaller for the base of the Christmas tree.