'Hearts' gives a voice to masters in crafts

Dunedin fashion designer Tamsin Cooper presents Hearts in Crafts Sundays at 7pm on TVNZ Heartland (Sky Channel 17). Photo supplied.
Dunedin fashion designer Tamsin Cooper presents Hearts in Crafts Sundays at 7pm on TVNZ Heartland (Sky Channel 17). Photo supplied.
A renewed interest among New Zealanders for handmade crafts is at the heart of a new television series featuring Dunedin designer Tamsin Cooper.

Hearts in Crafts is hosted by Ms Cooper and Auckland-based landscape designer Justin Newcombe.

Filmed throughout New Zealand over the past year, the 13 episodes are being broadcast on TVNZ Heartland each Sunday at 7pm.

When initially contacted by TVNZ, Ms Cooper thought she was being asked to feature on the show as a craft designer, but the company asked her to audition as a presenter.

It is the first time she has made television and she hopes to be involved in any future series.

"We have many, many master crafts people in New Zealand.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg, really, and I hope the series continues because it's fascinating," she says.

Ms Cooper says each episode features different New Zealand craftsmen and designers, including those who are internationally renowned.

Many have famous clients throughout the world but are less recognised domestically, she says.

"It's fantastic giving a voice to their successes and bringing their stories to a wider audience."

In each episode, she and Mr Newcombe also demonstrate how to make different items and master various craft techniques.

There is an emphasis on recycling objects and using materials in less traditional ways.

Community crafts feature as the show explores markets and the hosts are taught new skills.

A golden heart is also awarded each episode to someone using craft to help others.

"There are lots of layers to the show. It's got something for everyone," Ms Cooper says.

Men featured in the programme prove craft is not a feminine domain, she says.

Those without Sky can view Hearts In Crafts on the internet, via TVNZ's website.

• Hearts in Crafts screens Sundays at 7pm on TVNZ Heartland (Sky Channel 17).