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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Two Cowboys on a Journey: Dalene Meiring, Auckland - New Zealand

Artist: Dalene Meiring

(Learn: * Inspire: *** Amaze: * Live: ***)
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"If you think you can do it, you can. Give it a try. You may just surprise yourself". Dalene Meiring

An ultimate Producer is a person that makes for utility, for meaning, and purpose. These are people that create useful articles that also communicate messages and emotions. Articles that inherit and exhibit an anthropomorphic essence. We call these people "Artists". They express themselves through mediums, and through production.  

Why strive for art and utility? Because art causes people to look a little closer at ourselves and our everyday. It offers an opportunity to look at social issues, people and their emotions, the environment, and everyday objects, life forms. The artist has the ability to bring out that which cannot be seen or felt easily, or which is often missed. They have the ability to express emotion through inanimate objects.

When a society sees and feels clearly, it has the opportunity for reflection, change in thought, and appreciation. It can cause people to re-examine themselves and their relation to life, people, and circumstances. The artists often feel a duty to unlock this meaning.

Articles with meaning are more likely to take on the identity of an owner. The maker makes the item with passion and soul. But it is the owner and user that fuses their mana or spirit with the creation when they use and appreciate its value. That leather bag, hat, or the character of a pair of well-worn boots, over time, becomes indistinguishable from its owner. The Producer and Artists set the table for this meaning. But, it is the consumer that unlocks the true value of expression and purpose. The one cannot exist without the other. 

When this perspective is appreciated, it is likely that we will carefully consider, seek and choose articles of quality, by Artists and Producers with exceptional ability and dedication. If we own articles with the potential to define us, we should choose more carefully.


It was a sticky afternoon on Thursday the 11th of February when we met Dalene and Pieter Meiring at their house. February in Auckland, New Zealand is hot and humid. The cicadas were drilling through our microphones, as we sat down at the Meiring dining room table for the interview. 

Immediately, it became clear that Dalene as an individual is the same warm, welcoming, golden glow of a person, than she lays down with paint and her palette knife, on her canvases. “I paint for the love of expression and the passion of life and all the beauty in it,” says Dalene. When looking at her work, it is obvious that the emotions and sensations of serenity and tranquillity are what distinguishes her work. Dalene's art communicates with and grows on you. The more you look at it, the more personal it becomes.

What stood out in the conversation is her encouragement for people to give things a try. Make something. Make it until it feels right. Don't pay too much attention to convention. "Only you will know if it communicates what you want it to say."

We then met her husband Pieter downstairs in the garage where he was assembling their custom crafted jewellery for an order that just came in. They say that behind every successful artist, there is a driven and committed business person (or husband). Pieter is this entrepreneurial inspiration in the Meiring household. After 16 years and a successful career, he realized the value of spending more time with Dalene, of making something himself, and thus threw his weight behind a fledgeling jewellery brand - Jewellery with Soul - that is growing in leaps and bounds.

While Pieter was threading a necklace he kept his message simple: "You don't need a lot of money to start. Make something. If people like it, make more."

In this visit with Dalene and Pieter we found two inspirational people, with a clear passion for living life to its fullest, and who produces beautiful art. We've also realized again, the value of a garage. As with so many Producers, makers and creators, their garage is also the Meiring's sanctuary, factory and the heart of their operation. 

We cherish the moments we got to spend with Dalene and Pieter, and hope you will enjoy some of it captured in our photos and video above.

Hendrik van Wyk

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