The New Zoanthid Capsule Collection

Diving the North Shore is tragically, but necessarily seasonal on Oahu. Truth be told, any wet dive is  a great dive to us, but the diversity of marine life that the North Shore brings is so refreshing each spring, we really look forward to when we can get in the water up there. Rainbows of unusual nudibranchs, fish and other critters seem to thrive there – or possibly are just easier to find! Either way its always an adventure and we love diving there.

One day in 2015 our expected dive site was far too rough to get in the water so we did a last-minute pivot and went to a different site called Haleiwa Trench. In our experience, the trench had usually been green, murky and had terrible vis! But that was the diveable site, and we were just happy to get wet that day. Haleiwa trench is actually a man-made trench, and over the years many critters have made it home. It’s pitted with small holes and nooks to look into, some with light but most quite dark. A flashlight is really useful there.

sunray zoanthids 2
sunray zoanthids 1
As I poked my head into various dark holes, I discovered these amazing little anemones, hopeful faces turned up on their individual stalks. So much delicate detail! Sadly the surge was picking up, and after snapping just a few images, we had to move on. Once home, I kept going back to these photos, and eventually ended up carving a few intended for jewelry, but I really wasn’t sure what they were going to be. They seemed to have so much potential – round, with fine lines radiating from its mouth to form an attractive blueish-brown patterned disc.
​I’d guess that other designers don’t complicate things like I do – my design process starts with the creature first, its shape and angle, and only then do I design the jewelry. It would really be much simpler the other way around! Creating an elegant, comfortable, balanced, and honest piece of jewelry takes time, thought and respect for the creature. It involves learning at least a little about their behaviour too, and ideally numerous photos so I know what it looks like from different angles. And then I just have to wait until the right inspiration comes along – at its extreme, this can take a few years! (little monk seal, I’m looking at YOU ====>)
I kept the Zoanthids at the back of my mind for nearly a year before I came up with an idea i loved – a double layered necklace joined by soldered jump rings so the piece moves with the body it adorns. I carved and cast a lot of different forms before making my test necklace – there are at least 4 different zoanthid forms used to make the collection. We’re really pleased with how it turned out – its great fun to wear, making satisfying clinks like coins as you move. Then came the bracelet and all the rest followed, and voila! The Zoanthid capsule collection was born. This is a great collection to collect from, they wear well together but because of the minimalist design, can match many other pieces as well. We hope you enjoy them!