A stunning pair of papa (slab) earrings by Justin Fergusson. Chunky but small 20mm long pure silver earrings are textured by hand using a hammer and brass wire on an anvil. Earrings are finished with sterling silver hooks
NZ Pure Silver
NZ Pure Silver (Justin and Mara) are a home based operation with their five children. They are based in a workshop in the basement of their 1930s Nelson Bungalow.
Justin Ferguson was raised on a farm near the small country town of Patumahoe before moving to the North Shore of Auckland City at the age of five. He was strongly interested in the arts from a young age and was particularly fascinated by Māori Taonga, greenstone and bone carving and the way they were bound and fastened. After relocating to the Golden Bay in his early twenties, Justin began training in many crafts including bone carving with the legendary Chris Bone. After many years of bone and wood carving, he transitioned into working with silver but brought with him the braided cord style that compliments the rough beaten ancient looking silver work.
Origionally from Wellington, Mara is of Māori decent, her Iwi (tribes) being Te Rawara and Te Aupōuri of the far north of New Zealand and she is a descendant of Chief Atama Paparangi. Mara works part time helping with jewellery production and marketing. She also has aspirations to become a midwife.
Justin Ferguson has been an active and well known jeweller in the high end contemporary craft scene in New Zealand for over a decade. His work is all hand made with very low-tech tools and unlike a lot of "hand made" jewellery, his work involves no factory castings.
As his pieces are chunky and roughly forged using hammers, Justin uses pure silver due it's easy workability and the fact that it does not tarnish. All chains, ear hooks and the thiner earrings are Sterling silver for strength. He also uses a very durable black polyester cord for long life, which is also hand braided.