Henare is a jewellery label based in Gisborne, New Zealand. It's founder, Nerida Johnstone formally trained in sculpture, working extensively in lost wax casting before forging Henare into the modern, edgy adornment brand it is today.
There is a raw, eclectic edge to the hand made range. Natures most precious gifts in the form of stone, crystals, gems, bone and leather are fused with metals to form one of a kind, limited edition pieces enabling the wearer to connect and to be empowered by nature in their everyday life.
Founder: Nerida Johnstone
While starting her journey in fashion design, Nerida completed her formal study in sculpture and discovered through this process a passion for metal and casting. Working next in two metal casting foundries her focus became casting highly detailed Maori wood carvings (lost wax casting). Henare jewellery was forged out of this unique blend of skills. Her own studio gives Nerida complete creative freedom and the opportunity to be around her children.
Though Henare is largely influenced by the nostalgic sentiments jewellery evokes and connections to it, the designer - Nerida Johnstone's connection to her family, and specifically her grandparents, have also shaped the brand as it is today.
Nerida's grandmother worked for years as a floor manager of a commercial sewing factory and Nerida would often help her sew at home. 'My memories of hearing the sewing machines in symphony on the factory floor as garments were being made and watching my grandmother oversee the quality has had a huge impact on me. She taught me to be resourceful and creative, and to put my best foot forward. I also have many amazingly creative aunts who reinforced this philosophy and were always making something out of nothing, because that's what they had to do".
Nerida's grandfather also impacts greatly on the story of Henare; it is named after him. "He was a stoic war hero, ruggedly handsome, and a hard working man who was happiest working the land and shaping it with the fences he built all over the East Coast of New Zealand'', where Nerida hails from. "I would watch him bend and shape his fencing materials with his huge hands and I often think of him when I am shaping and forming my own work".
Nerida comments: "I have a few cherished items of my grandparents that I hold dear to remember them by. I have always been interested in jewellery's ability to spark a memory, a special moment in time, a tribute or connection to someone''. This powerful function of jewellery is an important part of the Henare brand too.