Mia StrakaMia Straka (1979) born in New Zealand, gained a love of diverse cultures, art and travel living with her family in Singapore from 1989-1996 and attending United World College of South East Asia. Returning home to New Zealand in 1996, Mia completed secondary studies and went on to study three dimensional design in Auckland at Unitec Institute of Technology, graduating with an honours degree (jewellery major) in 2001. Since then she has worked as a jewellery maker first in London, for fashion jeweller Laura Lee before moving to Zug, Switzerland and hiring a workbench in the atelier of Brigitte Moser to develop her own work as a contemporary jeweller from 2003-04. Now based in Auckland, New Zealand at Workshop6 collective jewellery studio in since 2009, Mia develops her work as a self employed artist, also teaching jewellery and working at Fingers contemporary jewellery gallery part-time.

Mia's jewellery pieces explore the body as site, employing techniques, form and symbolism to express personal experiences and reactions. Structure is used as a metaphor to comment on the structures around us, both physical and metaphysical. Mia is also interested in traditional processes and alternative materials, questioning values and anchoring her work in this specific place and time.

Mia writes: "My way of working is driven both conceptually and by process. Some pieces seem to grow as I make them, the construction delineating the form. Other works are carefully planned and designed before fabrication begins, always with an open mind to development and adaptation. I'm interested in exploring overlapping yet often conflicting notions such as protection and restriction, the private and public, freedom and chaos. The grey area where one concept merges into the other is open to interpretation and a place where new ways of thinking can grow."

Recently Mia's practice has evolved to include large scale sculptural work, installations and collaborations.


2014: Grant from the Wallace Arts Trust towards artist residency at Arquetopia, Oaxaca, Mexico
2013: Creative New Zealand Arts Grant funding for a publication to accompany the 'Talisman' project in collaboration with Roger Kelly
2012: Creative New Zealand Arts Grant funding for 'Talisman' project in collaboration with Roger Kelly
2006: Merit award Manukau Vessel and Sculpture Exhibition, Manukau City Council
2005: Enterprise Allowance Scheme, Grant for capital costs and ongoing support to develop small businesses, NZ Government


The Wallace Arts Trust


2000: Necklace presented to Prime Minister Helen Clark by Unitec Institute of Technology


2014: The Talisman Project, Collaboration with Roger Kelly, Objectspace, Auckland
Talisman Installation, Hawke’s Bay Museum Theatre Gallery, Napier , NZ
Talisman Installation, Pah Homestead, Auckland
2013: White Night Installation, Auckland Art Festival, Collezioni Boutique, Remuera, Auckland
2012: Art Mile Installation, Auckland Art Week, Jamie boutique, Ponsonby, Auckland
2011: Model/Jewellery, Jewellery Box feature artist Masterworks, Gallery, Auckland
Feature Artist, Lure, Dunedin
2010: SuperStructures with Cheryl Sills, Royal Jewellery Studio, Auckland
SuperStructures with Cheryl Sills, The National, Christchurch
2009: Radiate, Fingers, Auckland
Radiate, Inform Gallery, Christchurch
2007: Mind’s I, Windowspace installation, Objectspace, Auckland
2006: Jewellery Box, Feature artist Masterworks Gallery, Auckland
2005: Jewellery Installation UNIC Salon, Zurich, Switzerland
2004: Eisblumen with Lisa Fed, J.F. Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland



'Tenth Anniversary Show', The National, Christchurch, New Zealand
'Fingers 40th Anniversary Group Show', Fingers and Objectspace, Auckland
'Workshop6 21st Anniversary Exhibition', Fingers, Auckland
'Whakarakai', Matariki exhibition curated by Matt Blomeley, The NZ Steel Gallery, Auckland
Winter Brooch show, Royal Jewellery Studio, Auckland
Solid Gold, Lure, Dunedin
Showcase Workshop6, Royal Jewellery Studio, Auckland
The Big Meltdown, Debrasic, Thames, NZ


15th Anniversary Group Show ‘The Unbroken Circle’ Royal Jewellery Studio, Auckland
Fingers Group Show, Fingers, Auckland
Matariki Star & Cloak, NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington
Neckware, Masterworks Gallery, Auckland.


Fingers Group Show, Fingers, Auckland
Materialism, Royal Jewellery Studio, Auckland
Objective, Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland
Brooches, Royal Jewellery Studio, Auckland
Jewelism, Fingers, Auckland


Fingers Group Show, Fingers, Auckland
Zeitgeist Shrapnel, Fingers, Auckland
Neckware 8, Masterworks Gallery, Auckland
Regal award exhibition, National Jewellery Show, Wellington Events Centre, Wellington
Pop Up Show 1, The National, Christchurch


Fingers Group Show, Fingers, Auckland
Regal award exhibition, National Jewellery Show, Sky City Convention Centre, Auckland
The Jewellery Show, Masterworks Gallery, Auckland
Objective, Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland


Fingers Group Show, Fingers, Auckland
Cornucopia, Masterworks Gallery, Auckland
5 Years, Inform, Christchurch
Regal award exhibition, National Jewellery Show, Sky City Convention Centre, Auckland
Aotearoa, Quoil, Wellington
Black and White, Quoil, Wellington


Fingers Group Show, Fingers, Auckland
Shine, jewellery performance event Paramount Theatre, Wellington
Treasure Trove, Masterworks Gallery, Auckland
Twelve Days of Christmas, Royal Jewellery Studio, Auckland


White, Pablo Fanque, Sydney
Permit, Fingers, Auckland
Airnz Fashion Week Exhibition, Auckland
MossThreadStapleWood, Inform, Christchurch
Mid Winter Show, Studio66, Gisborne
Brooches, Inform, Christchurch
Objective, Nathan Homestead, Manukau, Auckland


Molly Morpeth-Canady 3D Exhibition, Whakatane Museum, Whakatane
Fingers Group Show, Fingers, Auckland
20 Years of Unitec Jewellery Design-work by leading graduates, Fingers. Auckland
Manukau Vessel and Sculpture Exhibition, Nathan Homestead, Manukau, Auckland
Neckware VII, Masterworks Gallery, Auckland


Brooch Exhibition, Masterworks Gallery, Auckland
Neckware VI, Masterworks Gallery, Auckland


Link, SchmuKu-Ku Atelier, Zug, Switzerland


Neckware III, Masterworks Gallery, Auckland


Elixir, Jewellery by recent Unitec graduates, The Odeon, Auckland
Body as Site, Logan Campbell Centre, Auckland


1998-2001: Bachelor of three dimensional design (hons), Jewellery major, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland


2011-Ongoing: The Talisman Project, a collaborative project with Roger Kelly resulting in large scale interactive sculptures, installations in various locations and multi media artworks, see
2012: Glass making two day intensive workshop with Te Rongo Kirkwood, Wainui Auclland.
2012: "The Great Samoan Volunteer Trip" Spinning Top charity and the Samoan Victim Support Group. One of two artists in a group of twelve skilled volunteers selected to improve conditions at a children's shelter in Apia, Samoa. Activities included art-making workshops, extensive renovations, screen printing, mural designing and painting.
2011-2012: Broach of the Month Club: brooch maker for BOM, Masterwork Gallery and Kristin D'Agostino. A project in which twelve members of the public swap twelve brooches over the period of a year, document their wearing experiences in a journal and blog:
2011: "Longing and Belongings" five day intensive workshop with Manon Van Kouswijk RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
2006: Helen Britton workshop MIT Auckland
2006: Susan Cross workshop MIT Auckland
2004: Mentored by Brigitte Moser Zug Switzerland


2014: Saint Kentigern College, Auckland, NZ. Week long residency on campus directing a group project with year 9 students to make their own site specific sculptures, alongside making my own installation to be displayed within the College on long term loan.

2014: Arquetopia, Oaxaca, Mexico. Six week residency receiving instruction in pre-hipanic back strap loom weaving and basket weaving techniques alongside development of new work.


2002-Present: Self-employed artist
2008-Present: Workshop6 collective jewellery workshop
2005-2014: Part-time sole-charge role at Fingers Jewellery, Auckland
2006-2012: Mentor to various jewelers and artists on PACE (government funded artist support program)
2011: Casual workshop assistant to glass artist TeRongo Kirkwood, Auckland
2005-2009: Part-time assistant jeweller to Jane Dodd, Workshop6, Auckland
2008: Made to order range for Juliette Hogan flagship store
2007: Launched ‘Boutique’ collection at AirNZ Fashion Week, Designer Showroom
2006: Commissioned by Helen Cherry to provide limited edition jewellery collection for eponymous designer fashion label
2006: Set up shared workshop within Satellite Gallery, Auckland
2005: Set up studio in shared space at Corban Art Estate, Auckland
2004-2005: Workbench in SchmuKuKu Atelier of Brigitte Moser, Zug, Switzerland
2002-2004: Jeweller for Laura Lee Jewellery, London
2001-2002: Part-time assistant jeweller to Anna Wallis, Workshop6