March 20, 2020
The Jewelry Line
I made my first puka necklace in 2011 and have not stopped since. My passion for pukas has organically grown into a luxe jewelry line known as "Puka Perri". I handcraft each one-of-a-kind piece with the intention of bringing beauty, healing, and good mana (energy) to the wearer.
My line is specific in that I only work with the finest Hawaiian Puka Shells, high-quality handpicked Tahitian and South Sea Pearls, and hand-finished gold filled and 14kt gold accents. I am inspired by raw materials from the sea and enjoy combining them with the luxe warmth of gold to create organic and timeless adornments that layer and highlight each other.
With jewelry (and life) , it's all about how you feel— we hope our pieces feel good to wear and elevate your mood and vibration.
Why Pukas and Pearls?
Pukas were my first love. When I moved to Maui from the east coast in 2011 I lived in my auntie's jewelry studio on the North Shore. It was covered in metals, wire, beads, drills, torches, and tons of shells she had collected over her many years living in Hawaii. I was immediately drawn to her puka shells. Each one had unique colors and markings - they were smooth and polished, yet organic and raw and unlike anything I had ever seen. I had to go find some of this treasure for myself.
So I went puka hunting. It was exhilarating, and I was hooked. Putting my mask on and swaying with the waves above the shell pockets is still my favorite thing to do.
With the pukas I collected, I strung up my first puka necklace that I still wear to this day. There is just something about wearing these natural relics that hold the life force of the ocean. I feel connected to the sea and all of its strength and softness.
Pearls were my next love. I went to my first pearl farm in 2013 on a trip to Fiji to visit one of my best childhood friends who was knee deep in her Peace Corp service. At the famed J. Hunter Pearl Farm I learned all about the process of how a cultured pearl comes to be. I was fascinated to learn that the pearl starts out as an irritant. A foreign object finds its way into an oyster (naturally or by injection) and causes it to secrete. Layer upon layer the irritant is coated with lustrous iridescence and over time transforms into a pearl.
This process made me think of my own transformation and how we too have the ability to send lustrous love and light to the irritants in our lives. I bought my first and probably most expensive pearl at that pearl farm. I couldn’t afford it and really tried not to buy it, but the pearl haunted me in my dreams and lured me back to the shop. Eventually the macrame bracelet that held my mesmerizing seafoam green pearl broke and I had to rework it- thus I made my first piece of pearl jewelry, the Long Lariat with a cone shell also from my trip to Fiji. The unique pastel colors of the fijian pearls openend my mind to the deep, wild, winding world of Tahitan and South Sea Pearl buying and creating. Mixing pearl tones together as if they were water colors is my favorite part of the process. A lot of my new pearl inspiration lies with Tahitian and South Sea Keshi pearls. I am fascinated by their unique organic shapes that make design really fun.
See more of Puka Perri's work.