Christine Hafermalz - Wheeler the Artist Goldsmith. Specialist jewellery maker, double rings, commissions, remakes.
For 40 years Christine has drawn her inspiration from the physical reality around her, travelling widely to seek out jewels, precious metals, shells and stones – natural materials on which to set her imagination free.
Born at the very heart of Europe, in the city of Erfurt, Christine was only four when her parents risked their lives in a daring and successful escape bid from East to West Germany, spiriting their daughter away with them to a new life near Stuttgart.
Her father being a plumber, she learnt metalwork early in life and her ambition to become a Goldsmith took root at the age of twelve. Four years apprenticeship in Schwäbisch Gmünd led to qualification and her subsequent election to Germany's prestigious Union of Professional Artists.
For seventeen years Christine ran a flourishing gallery and workshop in the centre of Stuttgart, before moving to Britain in 1988 and on to New Zealand in 1992. Living with her English husband - manager, she produces at least one major Collection a year, presenting valuable and greatly sought-after pieces to an international following.
All Christine’s jewellery is personally handmade. No two pieces are the same. Metals are acquired only in their raw form; neither setting nor polishing is entrusted to others. Whether bold or delicate, in gold or silver, each piece is built and shaped with traditional tools and the now rarely used mouth-blown soldering torch. Acute attention-to-detail combines with refreshing practicality, so that her rings remain comfortable, her earpieces and necklaces light enough to wear all day.
"Relaying my reactions to the imposing paintings of Gustav Klimt and reliving the colours of Franz Marc's works through stones allowed me to express emotions rarely seen in jewellery, creating stories to be worn."