A Hardy History: Balinese Jewelry Making That Stands The Test of Time

In 1975, an art student from Canada traveling through Indonesia became enamored with the ancient jewelry-making techniques of the islands. He apprenticed with the ancestors of craftspeople to royalty, learning the art of weaving, mesh, granulation and cut-work. The fruits of his study and labors: the John Hardy jewelry brand, formed in 1989.

John Hardy’s priority for the company included design and quality, people and the environment.

Design & Quality

Each and every piece of John Hardy jewelry is handmade. Inherent in each bangle, bracelet, cuff, pair of earrings, necklace, pendant, key ring and tie tack are the passions of the artisan, providing “the human touch.” Their ardor has been passed from the generations that preceded them. They are equally enthusiastic about their job, their surroundings, storied past, customers and society. Jewelry crafted by hand, rather than machine, can take between three and 10 months to complete. Today’s master artisans are providing the foundation for future artists through the company’s apprenticeship program.

An eight-step process starts with a hand-sketch. The designer’s vision is then given life through the pencil and watercolor or gouache renderings done, and continues on to the processes of wax carving, master casting, creating a wax tree, pouring sterling silver or gold, hand-cutting and hand-finishing.

The resulting jewelry is ethically made and meticulously crafted wearable art. Every piece tells a story – inside and out. A great number of pieces were inspired by nature. Other common themes of John Hardy’s work are pattern, texture and robust rhythms.

People & The Environment

Integrity for the environment is upheld to this day. The iconic Bamboo collection is a model of the John Hardy company’s commitment to helping the environment. The Wear Bamboo/Plan Bamboo initiative, established in 2006, ensures the sowing of bamboo seedlings through every purchase of the jewelry from the Bamboo collection. The company’s use of 100 percent certified recycled silver and gold, and ethically sourced gemstones point to their social responsibility. Additionally, the “Jobs for Life” program provides vocational training, financial support and job opportunities to disadvantaged Balinese orphans.

John Hardy is a member of the Responsible Jewelry Council (JRC).

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