The big bold line between cultural influence and full immersion is rarely crossed, but when it is one doesn’t see the artform from that heritage respected diligently often; John Hardy is one of the exceptions. Hardy is a Canadian artist who traveled to Bali in 1975 and studied their art and jewelry techniques. He spent a great deal of time in Indonesia after art school and was so enamored by the cultural techniques that he dedicated his work to its lineage, founding The John Hard Company in 1989.
John Hardy was mentored in jewelry techniques by a descendant of artisans in the Royal Court of Bali, perhaps privileged to family or royal methods passed down. His dedication was so that he built an art house of sorts where the jewelry is manufactured, still is used for that purpose. Also a supporter of sustained living, the compound reflects that with low-impact living spaces as well as an organic farm. Although Hardy left the company in 2007 to focus on sustainability, the company still holds true to the designs and ways the jewelry was traditionally manufactured, by hand. It’s even more impressive when John Hardy’s collections can be found in Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, and even The Missing Link.
The John Hardy collection has never ceased combining the heritage of the islands he fell in love with, continuing to joining luxury with art forms like Rantai (woven chain), Tenun (woven mesh, Jawan (granulation), or Ukiran (cut work). Beyond the brand’s commitment to its traditional inspirations, it is known for their silver work. The Missing Link has managed to gather a few cufflinks from the John Hardy collection that demonstrates why it is known for this:
While not Tenun or Rantai, these cufflinks still bare angles that draw from John Hardy’s love of Bali and would add ferocity to any suit. These sterling silver pieces have a dramatic flair that cannot go unnoticed. It is imbued with the care and power only handmade jewelry can have.
The far East comes to mind more than the rich history of Bali in these cufflinks, but blending traditions can give rise to interesting and multilayered jewelry. This pair is another testament to the John Hardy brand’s excellence in silverwork and commitment to the lineage of traditional styles.
Contemporary cufflinks and jewelry do not have to be cutting edge, meaning that new ideas need to be constantly manufactured. Instead, we can look to the past and pay homage to other culture’s brilliance, aptitude for style, and blend the beauty of ancient cultures with the modern world.
Welcome to the Missing Link, unearthed.