Relive memories of strolling past a Harakeke bush and finding Tūīs feasting on the flax's bright yellow pollen.
Inspired by Aotearoa’s most distinctive native flax, the Harakeke earrings are designed to be a minimalistic organic form. Harakeke represents whānau (family) in Māori, and it is known to have amazing healing properties. Besides its cultural significance, Harakeke provides a wonderful shelter for native birds such as Korimako and Tūī.
Our founder, Ian, created the design around a beautiful set of black jade pieces that have been hand craved by master carver John Sheehan. Once the design was finalised, the task of bringing them to life was passed into the workshop.
To begin the process, the underside of the diamond setting is made to be angled, similar to the shape of a diamond, so the settings are tucked in, right in the jade’s grooves. It’s a painstaking process that requires time and precision for each step. The18ct yellow gold wires are then carefully formed so they can sit perfectly within the grooves. The wires were then soldered on, and the 8-round diamonds were carefully set into the ends.
The next component is to create the cap for each black jade and connect the wires at the top. Because the black jade had been specially cut and carved to create a cap that would fit in perfectly, the top of the jade was dipped in melted wax multiple times and patiently carved it with a scalpel. The wax model was then cast in 18ct yellow gold then carefully shaped and polished.
The devil’s in the detail
The wires and the polished caps were then laser welded to tack-weld them in the correct position and solder the components. A complex design for the ear-hooks was then devised that would allow the black jade to turn and spin. The yellow gold was made into dish-shapes and domed. The components were then laser-welded and soldered so the internal mechanism was hidden entirely. The design refinement results in elegant tear-drop-shaped hooks which beautifully complement the organic black jades.
The final design is stunningly balanced with an organic flair. Harakeke features two pieces of bespoke-cut black jade adorned with eight bezel-set round diamonds. The rare black jade is only found in Cowell on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, and its colour perfectly resembles dried Harakeke seed pods. Each diamond has been set at a different height in each swirling groove to create a smooth visual flow. Any subtle movements from the wearer will gracefully spin the black jade, mimicking Harakeke’s motion in the wild.
A genuine one-of-a-kind set of earrings that have been the culmination of different artists skills and talents, a set that epitomises our love of fine craftsmanship and detail.