Henk and Marion Van Oeveren emigrated to New Zealand from The Netherlands in 1992 and have lived in Nelson ever since. They bought the charming but somewhat run down property in Garden Valley in 1996 and after years of building and planting their vision of an abundant native and edible garden is becoming a reality. Birds are enjoying the garden too and there are high numbers of pukeko, several weka families as well as tuis, bellbirds and kereru.
Alpacas and workshops
In 2011 the first 20 alpacas arrived from different farms in the South Island and two cria were born in 2013. Marion spins the alpaca fibre and also uses it in felting projects. Henk manages a busy engineering business. Mahoe Hills is a beautiful and inspirational setting for craft worshops. The purpose build studio is spacious, light and full of treasures.
You can visit us by appointment and we offer half-day craft sessions in our studio. Under our guidance, in half a day, you can create a unique item in felt or mosaic.
The links below take you to our full-day workshops.
Marion grew up in the Dutch countryside and studied human nutrition and dietetics in the 1980s. Spinning was very popular and together with Henk she started a small business. Henk made spinning wheels and Marion taught people how to spin. Every Autumn there were eco-dye sessions on big open fires in their garden and Marion taught her clients how to dye wool with plant dyes. Felting started to come back into vogue in the eighties as well and Marion learned how to make felted slippers and vests.
In 1992 Marion, Henk and their two year old daughter. immigrated to New Zealand. They moved to their lifestyle block in 1996 and this was a busy time with a young family, a career as a dietitian and establishing gardens. There was little time for crafts until 2013 when Marion reduced her hours of work and a craft studio was built.
Marion is mainly self taught and has also learned from well known textile artist by attending workshops and online learning. Marion used to travel to the Netherlands regularly to visit family and also used this opportunity to attend overseas workshops and masterclasses. Marion is grateful to her tutors including Nicola Brown, Kathy Hays, Annemie Koenen, India Flint, Sasha Duerr, Anja Schrik and Linda DeZijn.
Sasha Duerr’s books introduced Marion to the term ‘permacouture” based on the same principles as “permaculture”. The philosophy of “slow fashion” and using whatever is available locally really resonates with her and is reflected in her work. Marion enjoys making practical and durable items and uses almost exclusively local and recycled materials in her work.
Marion enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge and loves teaching. She is a trained adult teacher. Marion has a collection of upcycled eco-printed clothes that she sells from her studio and at occasional markets. Marion is member of Creative Fibre NZ and attends local events both as a tutor and as a participant. Marion was a tutor for Creative Matakana in 2017 and 2018.