Meet The Maker – Refresh Me


Hi Jenny. Thanks for chatting with us! Tell us a little bit about your creative business?

Refresh Me is an eclectic collection of unique fine art and jewellery. It began when my teaching career with Education Queensland ended. Re-purposing my grandmother's piano into a creative space sparked a philosophical direction and provided a plethora of materials for making unique jewellery pieces. Rarely does a Refresh me piece start from new materials. Growing up in a line of pipe organ builders has given me an appreciation for old timbers and interesting objects. My artworks stem from my textile background and have a strong use of pattern, colour and textures.


Why and how did you get started?

I love creating, it energises me. Over the years I have developed work in a range of media but predominately in mixed media and assemblage especially working with images or materials that hold a nostalgic or personal significance.


What is your favourite thing to create?

While I’m not bound to one area and enjoy experimenting with mixed media, I’m loving the medium of paint, in particular, oils.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Since moving to this area four years ago, I am inspired by the beautiful landscape that we live in as well as still life. I’ve connected with a local photographer who has given his permission to create works based on his photographs, twodogs Photography. Over time I have broadened the media I work with and moved into jewellery as I view this as affordable wearable art, mini sculptures if you like, that more people can access and enjoy.

Being time poor a lot of my early work focussed on significant people in my life as a tribute to them and often as my means for dealing with their loss. I have always been fascinated by early Byzantine art and in particular iconic images of the Madonna. I have been surrounded by strong women and done my best to produce a few of my own, much of my early work has always has a focus on women for this reason.


Let’s get to know you. (share three things we don’t know)

I am available to facilitate Paint and Sip events and children’s art parties.

I had the privilege of working and living for 2 years in Bamaga at the tip of Cape York.

I’ve always had a kelpie or kelpie cross shadowing me since 1986.

How did you learn your craft?

It began when I started my teaching career as an art teacher. My major areas of study were printed textiles, printmaking, spinning and weaving, leatherwork and ceramics but expanded once I began teaching.

Is this your side project or is it your full time gig?

Full time side gig ;) I’ve retired from teaching, my children are adults and now I have the time to really spend being creative.

Tell us about your work space?

I’m thrilled to have my own she shed that my husband and I created in the backyard where I can get messy. It’s small but includes recycled windows and doors that open out into our garden. I gutted my grandmother’s old piano and repurposed it as a workbench and storage for materials. I also have some of my dad’s tools from when he was a pipe organ builder that I now make use of. There’s a lot of history there.

What do you love about being part of The Makers & Finders Community?

I love what Peita has created and feel privileged to be part of that. Creatives need to support each other and The Makers and Finders Community has been supportive though all sorts of challenges. Market day is a lovely catch up with new friends.

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Makers & Finders Market Murwillumbah