Aotearoa (pronounced [ao tea roa]) is the most widly known and accepted Māori name for New Zealand. It is used by both Māori and non-Māori.
I was invited to contribute to a group show at 'Quoil Contemporary Jewellery Gallery' in Wellington, NZ (www.quoil.co.nz) the title of which is 'Aotearoa'. It needed to be a neckpiece with earrings.
To me (being a recent migrant to this beautiful country), NZ equates to sheep, wool, blue coastline, lush green grass, paua shell and the native Māori peoples. Quite a simplistic view, but hey that's me!
I wanted to combine my love of spinning, which is something I have recently learnt how to do here in NZ on a NZ made spinning wheel, with a wearable piece of jewelry.
First I dyed some polwarth sheep wool and kid mohair locks using blues and greens. Then I spun it into yarn adding in pieces of paua shell along the way.
The centerpiece is a vintage (1940s) 'blinking' dolls eye which I am using to represent the Māori peoples. The eye is set into Faux bone using UV resin with tiny fine silver beads and gold plated washers and vintage pink glass shards.
I am quite happy with how it turned out. Its definately something that I would wear. I made simple earrings to match with oxidised sterling silver.