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new balance for women on sale A definite ring to it Up on a Napier hill in a small house brimming with creativity live Nga Waiata and Peter Baker. Both artists, who practice collaboratively and apart, the couple have lived in this space for about 10 years, and in the Hawkes Bay for much longer, adding and contributing to the area's strong creative community. Nga Waiata (who does not use her surname) is the creative force behind the jewellery brand of the same name; crafting beautifully simple rings made from recycled wood and ancient crystals from Brazil. Her desk, in a home office that looks out to the ocean and hills in the distance, is littered with carefully organised compartments of amazonite, citrine, quartz, amethyst, lapis lazuli, pounamu and more. This organised chaos reigns supreme on the office walls too, a collage of images that inspire her creativity: Zambesi runway shots, Karen Walker postcards, pages torn from magazines, art prints, NomD campaigns, personal photos. Doors open out on to a sunny deck, where she sits to create her rings by hand and handcut the stones; a labourintensive process that she describes as "really noisy and dusty.!" The home, apparently the first house on this part of Napier's Hospital Hill and originally a captain's cabin, has local art and design throughout a "U Me" print by Rakai Karaitiana, a Bob McDonald chaise, David Moreland stools, and the couple's own Piiata Lightboxes with Te Reo script. Baker's work is displayed as well: a photo sculpture on curved canvas shows a distinctive East Coast river scene a truck stuck in a riverbed, with a sign leaning up against it that demands no driving up the river. Baker works from his light and airy studio connected to the house. A large canvas sits pride of place in Nga Waiata's office, a piece of her own that depicts the Hawkes Bay coastline, with handstitched lines that form random grids to became a topographical viewpoint of the land. She began painting while studying visual arts at EIT (Eastern Institute of Technology) about 12 years ago, and continues to create works, as well as her jewellery. Her works incorporate her passion for fabric (she calls her self a "fabric snob") and love of grids, while the aforementioned office piece reflects her fascination with the idea of home. "I'm really interested in the turangawaewae, what makes home. I really didn't think I'd ever live here [in the Hawkes Bay] again. I've travelled all over the world, but this is the place where I'm home, and I wonder why that is; is it my ancestors? Is it the creative, amazing people around me? I'm not sure, and that really fascinates me. So I try to paint it." Nga Waiata established her jewellery label in 2009, originally calling it Awa Jewels after her goddaughter but changed the name last year on advice from an Australian agent. She had continued to work on her art, but had ambitions to do something more commercial and connected to fashion, which she clearly has a passion for. "I wanted to make something really, really natural. At first the rings were these raw bits of crystal on wood, but I found that I wanted to make them more geometrical," she explains of the evolution the rings have gone through since she began. "I just wanted to wear a big clump of crystal basically. Because I'm not a silversmith, I needed to make it with another material, and when I put the wood with it it just felt so right. It's just all about being natural." This focus on being as natural as possible has paid off: she recently took an order from New York department store Barneys; a rather exciting development for someone who describes it as being the best store in the world. The Barneys order came about due to good old fashioned initiative (and, obviously, talent) she visited New York in July, and headed straight to the department store to experience its charms, and asked for the head buyer's details. Once home, she emailed examples of her work and sent over samples; they soon put in an order for 55 rings. "I wanted to target the best stores in the world," she explains casually, almost as if it's no big deal that her work will be sitting within such an iconic store. Perhaps it's a little bit of relief. "Getting the Barneys order has absolutely given me the confidence that I'm on the right track." She is ambitious, there's no doubt about that: she shows me her "press pile", magazines and the like where her work has appeared, placed on top of each other on the floor (she wants it to reach the roof), and mentions she is pulling together some pieces to send to US Vogue. As she explains, why not? "It's a good thing about getting older, you get more self confidence and you don't think 'oh no I can't', you think, well, actually, I can and I am!" She points to a mood board pinned to the wall, next to some of the first pieces she produced while at art school. The board was also from her time studying, a visual representation of what she wanted back then. There she is "wearing" Prada, next to a photo of a beautiful landscape, and a headline that says "people in Vogue", others say "money", "travel" and "the art of success" a reminder of her ambition and determination. And as she explains, in a round about way, "it's all kind of coming true."