Jeanette James Maireener shell necklace. Hand strung using traditional techniques. Necklace against blue background

Jeanette James is a Tasmanian Aboriginal artist and jeweller whose work is deeply rooted in her Palawa cultural heritage. She is part of a small group of women who practice the traditional art of shell stringing, which has been passed down through her family from Flinders Island for generations.

Jeanette uses both traditional stringing patterns and her own contemporary designs, which often incorporate other shells such as black crow and white penguin shells, to conserve the harder-to-find iridescent mariner shells.

In addition to shell necklaces, Jeanette also creates contemporary pieces with traditional roots from elements such as echidna quills, which are sourced from roadside, which Jeanette has a license to collect. 

Jeanette's work is not only beautiful, it also carries significant cultural value. As one of only a few practising traditional jewellery makers, her work is a testament to Palawa cultural traditions and the importance of passing them on to future generations

The Australian Museum Shop is proud to carry Jeanette's beautiful pieces. Browse the range below.