My name is Orsi, I’m – if you will – the maker behind árbore·do·fogo. Although árbore·do·fogo has only been around since October 2016, the idea and some of the designs have been with me for many years. I’ve done beading since a young age, I still remember anxiously waiting for my baby brother to fall asleep for his midday nap so I can take out my beads – at the time considered to constitute a serious hazard in the presence of a toddler. As I grew up, I would always come back to making jewellery, be it using beads, embroidery thread or wire; I even made an incursion into brass enamel jewellery making.

What I love about beading is that it is such a simple craft, needing precious little equipement, yet it holds infinite possibilities, especially nowadays with the choice of quality materials available. With my jewellery pieces I aim to create simple and styish accesories that will complement a modern wardrobe. All these pieces are handcrafted by me with much love and care, hoping that they will bring joy to future wearers.

Other than jewellery making I am also passionate about knitting (www.woolventures.com) and running (www.whatrunnersdo.com).

Why árbore·do·fogo?

The Galician word árbore do fogo, with the literal meaning ‘fire tree’, is a unique and rather poetic name for the emblematic tree of New Zealand, the pōhutukawa tree (metrosideros excelsa). The Galician city of A Coruña, located in the north-western corner of Spain is a place I like to call home, although I wasn’t born there and my current home in New Zealand is literally a world away.

When in a sentimental mood, I like to think that other than the fact that both Galicia and New Zealand figure on my list of current and past “homes”, the two places somehow have a mystical connection. After all, A Coruña is one the few cities in the world that has another city as an (almost exact) antipode, being Christchurch in New Zealand.

It is precisely the pōhutukawa tree, an endemic New Zealand species, which provides a further connection between the two remote lands. A Coruña is home to an over 200 years old specimen, growing in the courtyard of the local police station, found on Tui Street. The origin of this centenary pōhutukawa tree is a mystery and has been subject to historical and botanical research since its discovery by New Zealanders in the early 2000s. The tree was also chosen as the floral emblem of the city of A Coruña and cuttings from it were planted to adorn the Avenida do Metrosidero (Pōhutukawa Avenue).

Pohotukawa tree. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons