Recurved Toki Whetu

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This is an ataahua pounamu with a kaupapa to match. The number seven/whetu is significant to the wearer for many reasons.

There are seven notches in the edge, 3 on one side and 4 on the other. This was commissioned just after the 7 week of level 4 lock down during the covid 19 measures in New Zealand. The 7 notches are to represent the seven weeks. They have other meanings for the wearer that link with her whanau and the members in there also.

We spent some time discussing the details of the design, the shape of the toki, the pounamu we would use and the positioning of the notches.

The first stage was the cutting out the blank toki shape, then I used the flat lap to create the curve on the back and the cutting edge. The wheel was used to create the recurve on the front.

Then sandpaper to smooth the edges and remove the grinding tool marks. I used the hand piece for the notches and the top part that the lashing goes on. Sanding sticks were helpful getting a smooth finish inside the notches. Then the felt burrs for polishing and finally the lashing goes on.