Out of ruins comes a gem of an idea

16:00, Oct 16 2012
Alexandra Harteveld-Turnball
TRASH INTO TREASURE: Marian College pupil Alexandra Harteveld-Turnball searches through the PricewaterhouseCoopers site yesterday for rubble that she makes into jewellery.

Nostalgic Cantabrians can soon wear shattered pieces of the red zone around their neck, on their wrists and in their ears.

Year 13 Marian College pupil Alexandra Harteveld-Turnball and six friends are creating "quake jewellery" in an effort to give something back to grieving Christchurch residents.

She was at the PricewaterhouseCoopers demolition site yesterday to gather rubble for the project.

Alexandra and her friends came up with the idea for their Young Enterprise entry.

Pupils would form a company and come up with a product.

"Since we're from Christchurch, obviously we wanted to do something relevant to the earthquake. We decided on jewellery because it's tangible. You can take it with you and it's quite personal," she said.


All proceeds from the jewellery will go to St John.

"We thought that they didn't get enough recognition for their help after the February earthquake, so we chose to give it to them," Alexandra said. She had a few customers who used to work in the PwC building eagerly awaiting the jewellery.

"It's quite significant for Christchurch because it's one of the biggest buildings we had," she said.

The group had contacted demolition companies about gaining access to the red zone to salvage debris but received no replies.

Alexandra then approached project management company Arrow International.

It agreed to take her to the PwC site.

"Alex is a great representation of Cantabrians' can-do attitude, while demonstrating promising ability to see bright opportunities in what was originally such a bleak situation," Arrow International senior project manager Jan Geesink said.

The jewellery is made by chiselling down pieces of rubble and attaching it to chains, bracelets and earrings.

Prices range from $4 for a bracelet to $15 for a necklace.

The jewellery will next be on sale on November 4 at the St Bede's College-Marian College fair.

The Press