I love Etsy. I have such a liking for the genuinely hand-made, for things that are truly one of a kind. And for months now, I've found myself going back repeatedly to look at the rings that this fellow
makes. His name is Ash Hilton, and he's a really sweet guy who lives in Nelson, on the north coast of the South Island in New Zealand. He has a real feeling for natural Kiwi motifs, and does really exquisite etchings of them on his jewelry (click here
for a good peek), and just looking at his work makes me feel as if I were sitting on a beautiful, wind-swept beach, with dune grasses whispering and laughing around me.
He also only uses recycled metals, or carefully-sourced Kiwi materials, which is very cool. His dad was a gold prospecter, and found a way to harvest alluvial gold from beaches, so no awful, open-sore mine pits needed for this jewelry. He also does a lot of work with titanium, which is plentiful in New Zealand, and very light and comfortable to wear.
Here's one ring that I love, with a kanuka grove motif:
Or this simple one with puffs of dandelion wisps:
But here's my favourite. It's a titanium wedding band he made for someone, inlaid with a white sapphire, and with sweet little koru etched in:
The koru is a really fascinating bit of Kiwiana. It's an abstract representation of an unfurling baby fern, and it represents hope and new beginnings. It's a kind of unofficial national symbol, and you see it everywhere, even on the tail fins of Air New Zealand aeroplanes:
Neat, huh? And a totally lovely thing to have etched on your wedding ring, I think. Anyway, I love looking at Ash's stuff, and I thought you might, too. Maybe one day I'll save up enough to buy one, so I can carry that happy, windy beach around with me all the time. Ha! A girl can dream.......