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November 30, 2017 2 min read

Martyn Milligan Artist

This summer we have collaborated with Rinopai jeweller Martyn Milligan to bring you a very special and entirely exclusive range of hand crafted jewellery called Trio of Leaves. Not only are these elegant pieces beautiful in their own right but each purchase will see a Kahikatea sapling planted in the Kahurangi forest in celebration. Martyn is a forest man, on any given day you will likely find him roaming the Kahurangi national park bordering his remote Rinopai property. It is a very special and personal place for him and one he is committed to nurturing. Each Kahikatea sapling is carried to its own unique location within the forest and planted carefully with the hopes of it reaching its full potential as the stunning giant its meant to be.

These little known yet majestic trees are ancient survivors from the Jurassic period. This has been evidenced by discoveries of its leaves and pollen in Jurassic rocks aged around 160-180 million years old! Imagine a time when neither birds nor flowering plants had evolved. Instead of its current resident native birds like Kereru, Tui and kaka, the Kahikatea’s delicious and abundant fruits were probably feasted on by pterodactyls. The social Kahikatea groups closely with other trees intertwining its buttressed roots with its neighbors for support in the unstable swampy ground, huddling together with it's kin. In autumn, throughout the lowlands of New Zealand, numerous forest birds chattered noisily in its canopy, feeding on its abundant red berries called Koroi. 

Kahikatea, the ancient giant of our forests once dominated the skylines of much of New Zealand’s swampy lowland areas. With the help of jeweller Martyn Milligan we are re-sewing the Kahurangi forest with these prehistoric beauties. Have you taken part in tree planting projects? Or nursed a tree sapling and planted it somewhere sacred? Its a pretty special moment and Martyn has hundreds of wee saplings ready and waiting to set roots in his treasured place, the Kahurangi forest.

All the pieces we sell here at Texan Art Schools have meaningful origin stories, these pieces in the Trio of Leaves range are so exciting because they provide meaningful future stories for the Kahikatea trees and the health and bio diversity of the Kahurangi forest. 

We cant wait to see these fine items of hand made jewellery go out into the world knowing that for every piece there is a little tree in a forest in Aotearoa growing its heart out.

Our Trio Of Leaves Range