March 21, 2012

New! native Hawaiian species jewelry

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by a wonderful new Hilo science center called 'Imiloa about selling Stellanova Jewelry at their gift shop. They'd heard about my work from another local jewelry artist and friend, Raven of Made with Molecules, who already sells her amazing pieces at 'Imiloa. I was delighted to hear from them, and they placed an order right away for a number of my Hawaiian designs. I was even more excited when they told me they wanted to commission a number of custom pieces featuring more endemic Hawaiian wildlife! I love doing custom pieces, and for the first time I'd been asked to do a whole series for a store.
Together we selected six species native to the slopes of Mauna Kea, a collection of unique wildlife that are all unique, irreplaceable components of Mauna Kea's diverse ecosystems. All of these species are culturally significant to Hawaiians in some way, and unfortunately, all of them are critically endangered.

Here's a little more info about each of these species:

nohoanu - a native geranium
liko lehua - the bright burgundy rosettes of new leaf growth on 'ohi'a trees, viewed as something like a flower by Hawaiians. This one was a bit unusual because I already have a design for the 'ohi'a tree itself, and the species info is the same.
palila - a finch-billed Hawaiian honeycreeper
mamane - a flowering tree in the pea family
'ahinahina (silversword) - crazy high-altitude native shrub with silvery hairs on the leaves!
na'u - a native gardenia

So right now I'm cranking out this new jewelry and working on the associated information cards with the hopes of getting them finished and delivered to 'Imiloa's gift shop within two weeks. I stopped by yesterday to show them my work in progress - they are really happy with the pieces they commissioned, and can't wait to get them into the store!

Posted by tammy at March 21, 2012 9:44 AM