Two Wellington jewellery makers have helped mend the broken hearts of nearly 700 Christchurch earthquake victims on the “weekend” by transforming their broken china into jewellery.
Joanne Grove and Caroline McGlinch, the owners and founders of Smash Palace, volunteered their services from April 1 to 3 to help Christchurch residents “rescue some of the shards, fragments and splinters” of family treasures that so many had lost during the earthquake in February.
Grove and McGlinchy, former art teachers who set up their business making jewellery from broken china just 16 months ago, held a three-day workshop at a “friend of a friend’s sister’s double garage” in Christchurch with the help of six sponsors including Beadaholic and Bunnings as well as 10 volunteers recruited on Facebook.
Grove said Christchurch residents queued for up to three hours to have their broken treasures transformed into a brooch or pendant.
“There were men and women and families (sometimes three generations) who had all lost so much waiting with a piece or pieces of china, glass and crystal,” she said.
“We helped them select the part that would work and then took them to the cutting, grinding, hand filing and gluing areas to create their piece of jewellery; only a few people were confident enough to cut and grind their piece but most were happy to do the hand filing and gluing.”
After helping create nearly 700 jewellery items at the workshop, McGlinchy and Grove said they were now ready to begin work on the “150 commissions – some with more than 10 individual pieces requested” they had received during the “weekend”.
“We could only offer the people of Christchurch ‘one free item per person’ but many had a baskeful of china they wanted transformed into jewellery.”