Handmade hooks for our pounamu earrings
We are often asked about the silver work on our pounamu jewellery. The short answer is, all the hooks and findings for our pounamu earrings and pounamu pendants are handmade by us from sustainably sourced sterling silver.
But of course, there is a bigger story behind that answer, and more questions to be asked. So I thought it was time that I explained all about our handmade, ethically sourced sterling silver work, in a helpful wee blog post.
Is sterling silver a sustainable industry?
Sterling silver is one of those metals that has a number of issues around it, both on an environmental level and in regards to the fair treatment of those working in the industry. It is a big question with an even longer answer so I won’t go into detail here. Suffice to say that key players in the industry are awake to the issues, and there are now international certifications in place that companies can apply for to demonstrate that they are taking care of us all in the process of their metal work.
So, in our efforts to protect Papatūānuku, we set about finding a company that could supply us with sustainably and ethically sourced sterling silver, for our pounamu earring hooks and various other findings. Sad to say it wasn’t that easy here in Aotearoa. But eventually, we were put on to a couple of companies that could help us out.
Initially, we bought our sterling silver findings from PEKA, a great company with an earth and people based vision. However, I(Morganne) wanted more, and have always dreamed of becoming a silversmith. What better place to start then by hand making the earring hooks and findings for all of our pounamu jewellery. So I went on the hunt for a company that could supply us with sustainably sourced sterling silver wire.
We eventually found Regal Casting here in NZ. Regal Casting works with recycled silver and silver from Perth Mint. Short of recycling our own silver, this was our best source of sustainable and ethically sourced silver. And the journey into hand making all our earring hooks and findings began.
Where to from here?
It has been a fun and fascinating journey into the world of metal work. Pounamu works well with various metals and the right combination can really highlight the colours in the taonga.
We are now lining all our rings and bangles with copper, brass, silver and even gold when it is requested. The metal absorbs the impact if they are dropped or hit against something hard, and increases their circular life indefinitely.
The infinite variety of creative possibilities, when combining pounamu jewellery with metal work, are exciting for both of us. As time permits we will expand our metal works with the pounamu and bring you new pieces from our creative soul.
In the meantime, I’ve made a short time-lapse video so you can see how the work is done here, crafted with love by, our own two hands.