Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Aotearoa Neckpiece

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 ( 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.


artistudios said...

Beautiful! So unique design!

Franka said...

wild! i love it

Andrea Graham- Feltmaker said...

Yes, wild! I would totally wear this too! Thanks for your blog comment. You perspective is appreciated!

ArtSparker said...

Oh, it is gorgeous.

Ginga Squid said...

Thank you! :)

Pam de Groot said...

Wow! I can see how your spinning is improving with every post. This looks so recognisably yours.

Grand Purl Baa said...

Hmmmm. I have to admit to wondering where all this crazy spinning was leading - and it was HERE.

How about that! A fabulous piece of art jewellery.

I love the evolution of art practice.

Ginga Squid said...

Thanks Pam & Loani!

I'm quite addicted to spinning this month - its got more relaxing and less frustrating with practice!

Fresca said...

Your children are the perfect accessories for your art!
Both are gorgeous.

May I ask where you are from originally?
I had assumed you were a natural Kiwi, until you mentioned recently you moved to Aotearoa.

Ginga Squid said...

Thanks Francesca!
I was born in England and lived there until my 20s, but since then I've lived/worked in Thailand, South America, USA, various Carribean islands, South Africa and now New Zealand.
I think NZ is a beautiful and safe place to raise children.

grrl + dog said...


brown eye balls!
Your gorgeous neckpiece arrived and I ooh;d and ahh'd over the closure - how it sits near the centre.
How much easier is that to get open?

yvette said...

those eyes will open very wide to accept al the oh and ah's



Ginga Squid said...

Thanks D and Yvette!

D - glad you like it. I thought you would like the Goddess with the boobs (esp since reading your last blog post!)

yvette said...

came back to look at this wonderful peace of art...I so much love the spinning.
came back to say that the 2 posts are one and the same dog...the dog that 4 years ago was born when my husband died.


Clasheen said...

Cool necklace and earrings!

I have nominated you for a Sunshine Blog Award over at since your blog posts are always inspirational, fun and funky!

Don said...

That SO captures the spirit of NZ... I can see the sky, the sea...beautiful!

yvette said...

miss you!

ot you saw it on face book too


1funkyknitwit said...

You do amazing pieces & this is no exception!

Knit 1 LA said...

I absolutely LOVE this piece! That eye looks like it won't miss a thing... very powerful!

Thanks for leaving a trail so I could find you. Wonderful artistry!

1funkyknitwit said...

Looks fantastic!!