Monday 13 February 2017

Two new cuffs made with Masonic findings.

Faith & The Sacred Heart Cuff

The Ultimate Question Cuff

Tuesday 28 June 2016

Exhibition on Waiheke

Faith & the Sacred Heart cuff is now on display at an exhibition of works by 11 Taranaki artists at UPCYCLE Gallery on Waiheke Island, Auckland. 

Organised by the wonderful Dale Copeland, this exhibition will also be available online at for the whole of July.

Image courtesy of Dale Copeland;

Friday 13 May 2016

Strawberries and Cream Cuff

 Images Copyright Fern Petrie 2016

I love antique and vintage embroideries. This delicate and very feminine cream coloured cuff consists of three vintage embroideries finished with gorgeous crocheted lace. When I look at a vintage embroidery it isn't just the time and skill that goes into the production of these pieces that I respect, it's the fact that in a past time some other woman wanted to spend her time creating an object which she considered beautiful. The idea that these precious pieces of embroidery can become valid again by reimagining their use is very close to my heart.

Monday 9 May 2016

Feeding the Craving

Yesterday I drove out of town to explore a little bead shop tucked away in the Taranaki countryside. I could have spent thousands in there. All the different colours and varieties of beads overwhelmed the senses and as I looked at the jars and bags brimming with sparkling curiosities I felt a little like a kid in a candy shop. I now have a fresh supply of spectacular Japanese seed beads, freshwater pearls and cloisonne beads. Tonight I'm hoping to use these to finish my newest cuff; a decadent and sugary concoction of Art Deco and 50's embroideries surrounded by pink and cream seed beads and pearls.

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Cross My Heart Cuff

My works aren't conventional beaded pieces but experiments in the art of embellishment. 

This cuff is at once delicate and flamboyant. The soft pink, blue and silver tones represent the first flush of love as if one were lying in a field of flowers watching the blue sky above. Nearby a little bird sits in a tree and in its beak a vintage mother of pearl heart crossed with metallic thread hangs as if it were an offering of love or a secret to be kept. 

Images Copyright Fern Petrie 2016

This cuff is now available on my Etsy store Dusk & Decadence. 

The 20's Dream

In 2012 Ralph Lauren showed his Fall/Winter collection. Downton Abbey had inspired a sense of yearning for the idealistic English country manor lifestyle and The Great Gatsby was about to be released. It was the first time that I had really become excited about fashion away from my Gothic roots. Fashion is a way to bring the dream of who we truly wish to be into everyday existence and I had always loved the sense of escapism and imagination which comes with adornment and display. In my twenties the allure, glamour and at times constriction of Victorian fashion was fascinating. I wanted to touch those times that had slipped away and collected mourning jewelry to heighten the sense of connection to the people who had lived in garments such as those I now donned.

I've always been a romantic at heart and as I grew emotionally so too did my ideas about how I wanted to express myself through fashion. Ralph Lauren's 2012 collection was the catalyst to the development of a new and I hoped more sophisticated version of my outward self. In my mid thirties I am still in love with that era where corsets gave way to a more comfortable and emancipated style of dress.  

The altered Ralph Lauren Fair Isle vest below is my interpretation of the typical Fair Isle vest. I've stitched silk flowers with beaded embellishments onto the garment as flowers have become very important symbolic aids in my art practice. In my altered garments silk flowers speak of precious moments experienced and kept close while we are trying to navigate our way through the trials of life. They speak of moments which we hang onto and hope will never fade. 

Image from;

Sunday 24 April 2016

Cross My Heart Cuff (Work In Progress)

This is my newest cuff, it's still a work in progress but should be ready in 2-3 weeks. These beaded projects look simple enough but take many hours to complete. For example hand stitching the flowers took three hours alone. These little works are labors of love and are so stunning when completed I feel a great sense of achievement.

I began with a beautiful vintage Chinese embroidery of a bird resting on a bamboo shoot. Around the embroidery I have stitched silk flowers and a bow made of vintage ribbon. After this I added freshwater & Swarovski pearls and seed beads and in the beak of the little bird hangs a vintage mother of pearl heart as if it were an offering of love.