Style Magazine chats to an amazing local artist
What began as something to keep Anita Ballis occupied through a difficult time grew into her passion.
Anita started making jewellery and other whimsical items in 2009.
A life-long love for butterflies and a lady’s butterfly wing pendant sparked the idea in Anita’s mind to make her own nature-inspired jewellery.
She decided to replicate the lady’s pendant for herself after finding them sold out online.
“After many attempts, I finally had a sealing process which allowed me to set wings under glass and I had learned how to hand-paint the wings in resin to allow their natural shapes to be seen and admired,” Anita says.
Anita is inspired by the colours and designs found in nature and, having grown up on fantasy epics such as The Lord of the Rings, said her mind loves to wander into the mythical and whimsical for ideas.
Anita’s artwork holds particular significance for her.
“I love the symbolism of transformation and new beginnings the butterflies and snake sheds have.
“It reminds me of my own personal journey and how my work helped me bring a new beginning in my own life.”
Each natural element used in Anita’s jewellery is ethically sourced in accordance with environmental laws.
She obtains the reptile sheds from local pet owners once their pets have naturally shed their skins.
“I have a lovely lady in Brisbane who regularly sends me sheds from her python,” said Anita.
For the insects and butterflies, Anita works with a number of overseas breeders and buys their insects once they are deceased.
She also works with the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House and makes jewellery for them from their own deceased insects.
Anita’s favourite piece is always the one she is currently working on and, because she works with a variety of mediums and themes, she likes to keep things fun and fresh.
“I love a challenge and I set myself a more elaborate costume-style piece every now and again.
“At the moment, I’m working on a latex armour outfit for the Carnival of Flowers, which is very exciting.”
THE JEWELLER WITH THE ETHICAL TOUCH