Meet the Makers

Published on 20 January 2022

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When Kes Harper was a young girl, she dreamed of becoming an inventor. She was always making something and after she finished school, it was a natural progression to continue this love of creating beautiful objects and undertake a jewellery apprenticeship. These days, Harper lives in Wollombi near Lake Macquarie and has turned her jewellery business, Studio Gleaned, into a full-time job. “If I’m not making, I’m not complete,” she shares. 

Harper sees her jewellery as small sculptures that are wearable and affordable. While she used to work in silver, Harper started to experiment with repurposed olive oil tins to introduce more colour in her designs. This has the benefit of being not only beautiful but also sustainable and accessibly priced. “I spend as much time on them as I would do if it was silver,” she says. 


Studio Gleaned is one of many local creative studios whose products and designs are stocked at shop MAC. Harper’s brightly coloured earrings and pendants sit alongside other quality handcrafted glassware, ceramics, jewellery, and textiles that all have a story to tell. Harper’s design ethos fits perfectly with shop MAC’s values, which carries a carefully selected range of artisan made and sustainable products by local makers. 

Another local design studio is Newcastle based ceramic boutique Leiluca Ceramics, owned by Jacquie Garcia. Named after her two daughters Leila and Luce, Garcia believes that “nothing is more important than family.”  

Garcia grew up in Eleebana, Lake Macquarie and moved to Sydney to study at the National Art School. She met her husband in Sydney and they both returned to Newcastle to find an affordable place to settle down. “We have been happy with that decision ever since,” Garcia says.


In 2017 she started making ceramics full time and hasn’t looked back. Her creations range from earrings and travel mugs to large vases and pots, all made with Leiluca’s signature earthy stoneware clay and a range of glazes Garcia has perfected over the years. “The greatest thing is that I am able to do what I love. I love being able to make my creations and feel so privileged that others appreciate them,” Garcia says.

shop MAC is dedicated to supporting artists and ethically responsible designers. Many products are Australian made and Fairtrade, and shop MAC supports the local Indigenous Art Code program. 

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