This cloisonné Hawaiian pendant is part of my Tropics jewelry collection. I created this custom jewelry piece in 1990 and named it Haleakala Sunrise because Maui, the island that is home to the ancient volcano, truly comes to life when the sun rises over the Haleakala landscape.
The Haleakala volcano forms much of the Hawaiian island of Maui — three-quarters of it, in fact.
There are reminders everywhere of Haleakala. Though it’s considered dormant and hasn’t erupted in more than four centuries, what remains is a sacred volcanic landscape where beauty defies the imagination.
The island boasts a sub-tropical rainforest, flora and fauna native only to Hawaii, and a volcanic crater surrounded by valleys in beautiful earthen hues. It’s a spectacular and sublime experience to stand still and take in the beauty of Haleakala, particularly as the sun moves over the land.
Legend says that the demigod Maui lassoed the sun for his mother. He did so to allow her to weave and dye her cloth and have it dry within a day. I thought it was such a beautiful myth that I wanted to recreate the stillness of that time in metals and vitreous enamels. The result was this stunning cloisonné jewel.
As we know from the sunrises we are privileged to experience, life emerges. The birds awaken and sing their lullabies to the world, dew sets on the plants to help them grow, and the sun gives off its energy to awaken the world. We feel invigorated when the sun rises. Everything is colorful and full of life. This is what I had to capture in this Hawaiian jewelry piece.
I labored to get my watercolor hues just right for my Haleakala Sunrise pendant. Also, I wanted to have just the right lines to bring this jeweled masterpiece to life – just like the Maui landscape.
I wanted to convey the power of the slumbering volcano, yet reveal the life that continues on the majestic mountain. The meandering flow of lines show that life still moves on the island. The vibrant colors resemble the glory of all of the plant, sea, and animal life that surrounds the spectacular peaks of the mountain.
Once I had my prototype created, I had a model for the cloisonné jewelry piece. And the rest, as they say, is history. My Haleakala Sunrise pendant turned out as exquisite as I had hoped for. But, I didn’t set out to merely complete another unique jewelry piece. I wanted to create awareness of the fragility of our precious environment.
Haleakala is a rare, one-of-a-kind natural artifact. One that can’t be bought or sold and can only be held in great esteem. The life within holds value and must be protected. I feel so passionate about it that I donate some of my jewelry proceeds to Jean-Michel Cousteau, Greenpeace, and others.
We all have a part of the Earth that leaves us breathless and in awe of its natural beauty. When you commission a custom cloisonné jewel piece with me, you are doing two things.
First, you get a creation that is unique only to you — a stark reminder of something dear to your heart and soul. Secondly, since I share my proceeds with environmental causes, you’re contributing to the preservation of our precious planet and the life within.
Custom Cloisonne, Necklaces / Pendants, Tropics