Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Opihi and John Keoni

I received this picture some time ago from John telling me these are Opihi Shells from Hawaii and viewing them like this, they sure didn`t look like much, just another limpet on the large size. But as we all know nature has secrets and once cleaned, their true beauty comes alive in John`s Artistic hands and shaped into stunning Shell Pendants as you can see in the following pictures.

I asked John to send a personal statement about is art form so here it is in his words:

           The Opihi Shell
The beautiful and unique Opihi shell grows on the cliffs of the island of Molokai. Opihi are harvested by local Hawaiian people for the food inside the shell, which is considered a delicacy and served at authentic luaus. The picking of the shells is often precarious and dangerous work and must be done only when the waves are not pounding the cliffs during inclement weather.

I am the only artist designer known today that makes hearts from Opihi shells. I have taken the empty shells and removed the layers of crustation that they are covered in, shaped them and, by taking away (rather than adding to), disclosed the beautiful creation within each piece. They are then coated with a special coating which brings out the natural colors within the shell. Although they appear to be very delicate, in their natural environment they are pounded by twenty foot waves as they cling to the cliffs on Molokai. Each piece is unique in its natural beauty, and like snowflakes, no two are ever alike.

God creates the Opihi, and I am blessed to be able to work with them and show case His handiwork. To be able to work with a part of this earths’ nature is both a challenge and a thrill. Many hours of time go into the process of developing each piece and it is sometimes difficult to part with them. The reward, however, comes from the interest and compliments I receive from sharing with others the beautiful Hawaiian Opihi shell.


Keoni Makai
(John) by the (Sea) 
John`s Art ,may be viewed on Etsy:

If you have an interest in following John he can be found on Facebook as Keoni Makai.

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