Jenny Byrne, Zealandia’s creator, was born in New Zealand and has woven her initial love of the natural materials found on the beaches and rivers of the world and a fascination with mythologic and spiritual art into an unusual line of jewelry.
“At Zealandia Designs we use all natural materials, combining several elements such as silver, gold, fossilized ivory, ammonites, orthoceras, and an assortment of vibrantly colored mother of pearl. The shells and fossils are like human finger prints, in that no two pieces are the same. Paua shell varies in color from pink and gold to green and blue, Each ammonite is refreshingly singular. Fossilized walrus tusk can span the neutral tones from creamy white to honey, reddish brown to black, depending on the length of time it was in the ground and the minerals it was in contact with. This ancient ivory is anywhere from 500 to 3000 years old. It is legally obtained from native-owned land, having been excavated by Eskimo families from old village sites on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska.”
Jenny personally selects each fossil for her design concepts: “The richness and variety of hues developed by the fossilization process of ancient ivory makes each piece unique. The idea of using materials as old as the petroglyphs and cultures that inspire me is very exciting. I like my designs to tell stories that honor the wisdom ancient people developed to explain and understand the force surrounding them. I see early expressions of writing, art and ritual as having an innate power, and incorporate this tint my designs as silent incarnations or mantras.