Every carver has a unique interpretation of the stone. Rob Lynes takes this elucidation, this extraordinary craft, even further. A skill inspired by his father’s passion for rocks and gems and passed down to his own sons, Rob is a true master of the calling. Each of his sculptures starts as an idea, a concept mulled over, sketched and moulded in clay. Once work commences the true nature of the stone begins to speak. A desire to protect the integrity of the natural form of the piece is rarely compromised, however the end result is usually a combination of working to a precisely planned composition yet allowing the true and natural beauty of the jade to show forth. The form emerges from the boulder beneath Rob’s skilful hands. The
creation of a large jade (pounamu) piece is not easy. This stone is harder than steel, supremely tough, and sculpting a large Jade is a physical undertaking. His son also carves jade under his watchful eye. You can see them at work at Waka carving and cutting rooms adjacent to the Gallery upstairs. As Waka’s principle gem cutter, Rob also travels to the opal mines of Lightning Ridge to procure quality raw opal from his associates in the mines, which he brings back to Waka to process. The raw opal is cut into beautiful gems and crafted into fine jewellery at the hands of their jewellers. Custom made jewellery from your chosen gem is their speciality. Rob’s passion for the stones he works with is patent. His life, his family, his commitment to beauty is paramount, he has created a place where the exclusivity of the products, the lustre and glamour and beauty, can be admired, experienced and enjoyed by all.
Jean Daniel Roberts
Twenty-five years ago a young Swiss began a backpacking trip that would lead him to life dedicated to the sensual lustre of the Pearl. Arriving in the Tuamotu Archipelago in tropical French Polynesia Jean Daniel Roberts describes his
experience as serendipitous. A storm had wiped out a local Pearl Farm and the local managers were desperate for manpower to rebuild. Jean Daniel did not hesitate and within a month was managing the farm. Fortunate as most opportune moments tend to be, Jean Daniel’s fascination with the birthing and cultivating of Pearl grew into a fierce passion and today he is one of the world’s finest Pearlier’s. He spent years learning, loving and researching the ultimate procedures to grow and harvest the very best Pearls. He then took his passion to the next level, teaching tourists and spreading the word on more than Pearl Farming but on the environmental strain modern life is putting on these remarkable treasures of the deep. Today both Jean Daniel and Rob travel to the pearl farms at harvest to hand pick the very best pearls for Waka. “This way “says Jean Daniel “we can preselect only the finest pearls for our clients, as well as maintain our passion for diving.” Jean Daniel is hands on. He strings the necklaces himself and works closely with his team at Waka to design their pearl jewellery crafted in 18k gold and platinum. Waka offers an exclusive range of hand-picked, highest grade Tahitian Black, South Sea White, Philippine Gold and the distinctive New Zealand Blue Pearls. Jean Daniel’s extensive experience and fastidious eye means every pearl available at Waka is the best. His precision and knowledge of the business from seeding to harvesting gives Jean Daniel a higher appreciation of colour, lustre and quality of the pearl. An incredibly interesting man, sit for a few minutes with Jean Daniel and the minutes become hours as you are entertained with tales of the Pearl Trade. No pirates perhaps, but a good deal of intrigue.
Andy Mills was born and bred in the jewellery business as a second generation jeweller. From a very young age his father schooled him in the intricacies of the jewellery industry. Becoming a jeweller came naturally to this once-Aucklander. His natural eye for what looks good, his desire to create complex things and his passion for problem-solving facilitated his goal of becoming a master jeweller. Twenty-five years in the jewellery trade has seen Andy develop his skills in every aspect of jewellery fabrication. Specialising in opal, pearl and diamonds at Waka, his passion has grown to become a true love of these beautiful gems. “starting at its source, cutting designing and hand crafting a rare piece of jewellery that will be cherished for generations is an amazing experience that I feel privileged to be a part of.” His expertise, eye for quality and design is evident in every unique piece. His natural eye for what looks good, his desire to create complex things and his passion for problem-solving facilitated his goal of becoming a master jeweller.
Royce first started his career in 1970. He instantly discovered a keen eye and passion for his chosen profession.
As Royce says himself “I couldn’t think of a better career. Designing shaping and forming precious metal from its raw state into a stunning pieces of jewellery is incredibly satisfying “ Royce’s passion, talent and years of experience is displayed in many of Waka’s one off pieces.