Crafting Culture: Maioha Studio's Artistic Odyssey in Contemporary Māori Jewellery

Matt Pryor
November 8, 2023

Thank you for joining us in this insightful kōrero with Claudine Muru and Cassandra Arthur, the creative minds behind Maioha Studio. Hailing from Muriwhenua, Ngāti Kuri, and Ngāpuhi, their artistic journey intertwines seamlessly with their diverse backgrounds in art, travel, and fashion.

A Journey Through Whakapapa:

Claudine, with roots in Ahipara, currently resides in Tāmaki Makaurau, while Cassandra, from Peria, calls Whāingaroa home. Friends for nearly three decades, their paths converged in 2022, giving birth to Maioha Studio. This venture embodies the freedom to pursue creative passions and sets an example for future generations.

Maioha Studio Unveiled:

As the founders and creative directors of Maioha Studio, Claudine and Cassandra have forged an emerging small business. Specialising in contemporary Māori pieces, the studio focuses on crafting taonga whakarākei—modern and fine jewellery made from 100% precious metals, proudly manufactured in Aotearoa. Indigenous, wāhine-led, and family-operated, Maioha Studio honours and celebrates Te Ao Māori.

Funding the Dream:

Initiating their journey with full-time jobs, Claudine and Cassandra self-funded the initial research and development stages. A Building Business Capability Grant from Creative New Zealand laid the groundwork for the website. Family and friends' support enabled the first production run, fostering organic growth. The two friends continue to work full-time jobs to help grow the pahiki.

Choosing Jewellery as a Medium:

Inspired by their tūpuna, Claudine and Cassandra use jewellery to encapsulate stories and history. Portable and tactile, taonga serve as elegant reminders. Their complementary styles, combined with the rich history of adorned tūpuna, led them to create understated, precious metal pieces.

Claudine and Cassandra use jewellery to encapsulate stories and history. Portable and tactile, taonga serve as elegant reminders.

The Power of Social Media:

Instagram, a visual canvas, showcases Maioha Studio's vision. Collaborations with talented photographers, models, and friends contribute to a captivating narrative. Social media acts as a space for sharing, learning, and connecting with a wider audience.

Expanding Across the Tasman:

Despite launching the website recently, Maioha Studio has already made waves. Word of mouth and connections with artists have eased entry into the Australian market. Building connections slowly, the duo envisions a growing kūmara/koala vine across the moana.

Nurturing the Seeds of Success:

Transitioning from planting to nurturing, Maioha Studio faces the challenge of establishing a solid marketing presence. This phase requires time and dedication, but the duo remains steadfast in their journey.

Celebrating Wins the Māori Way:

Acknowledging the importance of celebrating wins, Claudine and Cassandra embody Māori social genius. High fives, hugs, jokes, gratitude, and nourishing kai create an atmosphere of shared achievement.

Connect with Maioha Studio:

Visit to explore Maioha Studio's collection and stay updated on new releases. The duo envisions expanding their range, collaborating with other businesses, and creating one-off pieces in the near future.

Join Maioha Studio on their artistic journey, where each piece tells a story, and the journey itself is a celebration of culture and creativity. Nau mai, haere mai!

Indigenous, wāhine-led, and family-operated, Maioha Studio honours and celebrates Te Ao Māori.

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