How It's Made: The John Hardy Naga Collection

John Hardy’s powerful Naga Collection, based on a powerful story of love and protection, is a magnificent example of design and craftsmanship; stunning jewelry with significance. Like the tale upon which it is based, every one of the one-of-a-kind, made one-at-a-time pieces tells a story. Naga adorns its wearer with beauty, for sure, but also some consistency in an ever-evolving life. Wherever you go, a little piece of history goes with you…a little bit of an ancient culture.

Each handmade piece undergoes a seven-step process, which begins with hand-drawn designs and traditional gouache drawings, which are then transformed into three-dimensional renderings through the stages of wax carving (FYI: it takes two months to carve a Naga head from wax!), master casting, molding wax tree and silver tree. A final signature of John Hardy jewelry – oxidizing the silver to create contrast and texture in strong rhythmic patterns– is then done. There is palpable energy and movement throughout each piece.

The results are abstract and figurative interpretations of the revered dragons – with hand-crafted full dragons, smiling Naga heads and lavish, sensual, stylized scales that evoke strength and exude delicacy simultaneously. And, carved on the inner side, is a depiction/description of how the piece’s shape or form was inspired.

The Collection is meticulously handcrafted in contrasting sterling silver and gold, including cuffs, earrings, bracelets, pendants and rings, some richly complemented with precious and semi-precious stones reflecting the original inspiration (like scales that gleam with black sapphires and eyes ablaze with red rubies, for instance…).