Five minutes with... Charlotte Penman

Photography and words by Yasmine Ganley 

We have always believed that any artist will approach every daily errand with the same sentiment and care like that of their work. Driven by tactility and with an eye for sensory detailing, artist, mother and jeweller Charlotte Penman is no different, applying her artistic qualities to the running of her home and business. Her handmade pieces are created with integrity, concept, and natural healing.


Drei Dress Spot (available in store now)


We visit Charlotte at her beautiful home in Devonport. A house originally built by her Grandfather in the 50s (an architect of the Group Architects NZ), Charlotte now enjoys the space with her family to garden, create, and share meals.


In your own words, describe what you do:

I am a mother to my three children, Marcel (9) my only son, Florence (6) and Celeste (2). I am also a jewellery designer and artist. Through my work I design bespoke pieces with clients to signify a celebration, wedding or pivotal moment in their lives, and we create something very personal and sentimental for them to mark the occasion. 



Drei Dress Spot (available in store now)


Outside of working hours, what else are you passionate about? 

Mostly spending quality time with my partner and children, sourcing and cooking lovely nourishing foods for and with them, picnics, spending time in the forest or beaches, visiting markets. I really value my time at home listening to music and being creative. 

With the arrival of my third babe, it was pretty overwhelming adjusting to the virtually non-stop pace of life with a family of five, but since Celeste turned 2 something shifted, and I have somehow rediscovered the joy of adventure, having fun and letting go of expectations of myself. I recently visited Slipper Island and the next day climbed The Pinnacles in the Coromandel with two of my oldest friends sans children. One night away and a seven hour hike the next day. It was such a magical experience, a test of endurance, and a great reminder that in order to care for others well, we women must also take care of ourselves in body, mind and spirit. Sometimes that means stepping away from our role as mothers, partners and homemakers, even just for a few moments and getting in touch with our inner child, our inner joys and what makes us feel alive.




Luis Barragan is quoted as saying, "I don't divide architecture, landscape and gardening; to me they are one."What area of your home is your favourite and what do you enjoy doing here?  

At the moment, my bedroom, which is really a family space too, as there is usually at least one of our babes in bed each night. It is a calm space and feels relaxing and restorative, and the sky and neighbour’s beautiful billowy tree is reflected in the glass of a large photograph on my dresser, giving the feeling of being connected to the outside.


He also said, "I think that the ideal space must contain elements of magic, serenity, sorcery and mystery." What elements do you like to have around you at home?

Things I have collected on my travels that remind me of all the lives I have lived before becoming a mother, art that contains some form of magic. All our possessions have some special meaning or mark a moment in time, from crystals to glass and fabrics. The kitchen and garden are special places for me, I enjoy cooking to unwind from day-to-day life and have spent years collecting things to cook and eat with and from. I really value good quality pots and pans, ceramics, glassware, knives and cutlery. I feel that if we have beauty purposely incorporated in our daily lives and practical routines, it makes the world a much nicer place to be.



Porto Jacket and Mattie Pant Silverbeet (available in store from January) 


What/where is your favourite local gem to enjoy on the weekend? 

Smiths Bush is an amazing inner city forest on the North Shore, that I like to take the children to. All the beaches around home are amazing, but Cheltenham and Minihaha are our favourites for relaxing. Takapuna to Milford are great for walking with children.



Pedro Top TeaMiguel Jean


We love your collection of art. Which would be your most treasured piece?

Thank you! I It would be hard to just pick one, I love them all as they where all made by such talented and wonderful artists. I still adore the James Tolich photograph which has a very painterly element, people often mistake it for a still life painting. I also love my new Raukura Turei piece, her work is feminine, detailed and alluring. And Ophelia Mikkelson's beautiful work always makes me feel calm and at ease.



Gema Jumpsuit


Who/what do you look to for style inspiration? 

I love travelling, historical references, art and music.


Can you tell us why you were drawn to these Gregory pieces?

For their natural fabrics. I tend to gravitate toward block and earthy colours. I like interesting shapes, that are comfortable, and move well on the body.



Susana Shirt / Pilar Shorts


Who are some women you look up to? 

 My Grandmother, mother, my step mum, and the circle of women I am lucky enough to call my friends. I love the work of poet Nayyirah Waheed, and there are too many painters, writers, singers, activists and humanitarian woman throughout history to mention, that have inspired me.  

Do you have any rituals, disciplines, or self-care practises that help centre you?

Being in nature, aromatherapy, epsom salt baths and going to bed earlier than I used to. Wholesome, home-cooked meals that I eat with my family keep me centred. I also visit an extremely talented holistic facialist every few months, she is a trained craniosacral therapist, and I can literally feel the stress melting away from my face and body with her magical facials.


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