Woodland Finds

"Darlene Toclo is the maker behind Woodland Finds, based in West Auckland. She designs and creates unique adornments that combines local foraged flora with metal, stone and/or glass."
FORAGED:  Growing up in the mountainous region of Benguet, Philippines, I have always had a relationship with the plants that surrounded me. Aotearoa is very, very beautiful. Foraging is how I build my relationship with this land and its flora. Each time I head into a green space, I am met with unfamiliar plants that I am keen on getting to know. I strive to learn about native New Zealand plants that I may be able to gather respectfully and be mindful of the impact on current conservation efforts. So most of the plant material I use are gathered from the forest floor where they've fallen.

HANDCRAFTED: I am involved throughout the entire process of creating a piece. From conception to a rough illustration, to foraging and cleaning the plant material, whittling and sanding to hand-wiring, and eventually to bringing them to craft markets.

Most of the pieces I make are heavily inspired by the natural design of the plants themselves, like the acorn pendants or patterns on skeletal leaves. I marry the seedpods and twigs with handpicked raw crystals as a recognition of the deeper layers of the earth that support the forests above. It is a time-consuming but whole-heart-involving process. It is a joy to keep creating these pieces that first began as a personal expression of my love for this adopted forest.

LOCAL: Woodland Finds started setting up a stall at the closest market to where I live - the New Lynn Night Market - back in late 2015. From there on, I've taken it to almost all the craft markets I came across in Auckland and went to as many as I can in 2016. There are many new markets that have not been to yet and this year, I'd like to attend all of them. You can also find my work at the Lopdell House Gallery in Titirangi.

The creative craft market community is very supportive and I am very grateful to be a part of it!

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