Ahakoa he iti he pounamu Although it is small,
it is greenstone.
This whakataukī refers to the gift of something small, but precious.
One question that is asked a lot is how do we create the pieces that we sell. So today I thought that I would share with you a couple of behind the scenes photos about the raw/polished pounamu pieces that we have.
All of the pounamu that you see in these photos were sourced with iwi consent from Te Waipounamu (South Island, New Zealand). There are 3 awa (river) where the pounamu is found.
Manny (our carver) has a studio based in Kirikiriroa. She works with these taonga and can whakapapa back to the iwi. This means that she was allowed to apply for a contract to receive the pounamu. There are also 3 different types of pounamu.She has a contract for each type of pounamu and gets her pounamu direct from the iwi. There is no middle person.
The first two photos were screenshots from a video. Manny begins and ends each session with karakia. Here are some of the raw pounamu pieces that have been sitting in water. Once they've been in the water and been cleaned. The edges are either hand shaped or by using a disc grinder. Then unless the piece is being 'wrapped', she will add a hole for the binding.
Once the pieces have been fashioned, she will either leave them with or without a coating of polish.
From there she will begin the process of binding and for some pieces adding a toggle.
Once the pieces arrive, I get to use my little studio setup (please excuse the plastic on the left light - it just arrived and I got too excited to shoot some product photos & forgot to take it off lol). The photos go from this little miniature to that final product photo.
Funny story about this little ‘model’, when I saw these I thought that they would be fantastic to photograph and help people visualise what the earring might look like worn. Well I didn’t check the dimensions at all and ended up with this cute miniature instead lol. Still it does the trick 🙂.
I hope that you enjoyed this quick look behind the scenes of the pounamu that we have available. As you see the earrings aren’t always fashioned to match, so they retain their natural shapes. The majority of the earrings do not have a coat of varnish either, they are ‘raw’.
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Aramoana Gifts is a whānau business based in Paerata, South Auckland. We specialise in creating high quality contemporary Kākahu (sewn feather cloaks) & creative feather art. We also stock a range of unique jewellery, earrings, taonga & gifts.
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