The Maori word Patai means ‘to challenge’ and it’s a concept at the forefront of any successful creative endeavour. The Story of Patai is a video collaboration between veteran goldsmiths, up and coming musicians and a video artist whose day job is making models for the Peter Jackson movies. It’s a diamond ring and a documentary on the creative process.

The Inspired Collection is the international arm of Wellington’s The Village Goldsmith co-founded by Ian Douglas, Christine Douglas and Chris Benham. As its name suggests, the philosophy of The Inspired Collection is about taking jewellery design back to its most important creative elements and was born from Douglas’s dissatisfaction with the increasingly commercial and creatively complacent jewellery industry. 
When Douglas and Inspired Director Chris Benham decided to make a video that captured the creation and execution of the design process that went into making one of their diamond rings, it was important to make something that was more than simply an infomercial.

The ring Patai was inspired by the Koru – itself symbolic of new life and new beginnings – and evolved from an earlier design into a work of art that could be worn every day. Sculpted from platinum, Patai clasps a pear shaped diamond so gently in the unfurled frond of the koru, that the diamond appears as if it is floating. Gary Chapman the so-called Godfather of the Village Goldsmith was entrusted with executing the ring from Douglas’s design. A goldsmith for 55 years, Chapman’s combination of talent and experience, was essential in forging a technically difficult piece.

The video’s director Vibol Moeung understands cooperation and cross pollination in the arts. After graduating from the Massey University School of Design, Moeung worked at Stone Street studios as a model maker for King Kong. He opened his own Foxtree Studio in 2009 to stay busy between film projects (he has gone on to work for Stone Street and Weta Studios on other productions, most recently The Hobbit). Foxtree documents the creative processes of artists of all kinds through short video portraits that are collected online.

For The Story of Patai Moeung, captures the inception and execution of Patai from its beginnings as on pencil and paper through to its being smelted and polished on the Village Goldsmith premises by Gary Chapman. The video documents the unfamiliar process of creating jewellery - a blend of industry, technology and incredible hand eye coordination. A musical score was written and performed especially for the film by Dave Wright of Wellington band Electric Wire Hustle who played at this year’s Glastonbury festival and have been praised by influential French DJ and record label owner Gilles Peterson. Award winning New Zealand based violinist Emma Colligan accompanies Wright on strings.

Click here to to view the film Designer Jewellery - The story of Patai