Branded wooden tags for waiata

branded wooden tags for waiata

nga waiata is a jewellery designer from New Zealand who lives and works in London. I’ve worked with her for several years now, helping her to brand her distinctive rings and necklaces.

Last year, she rebranded her company’s name from her own full name, ‘nga waiata’ to just ‘waiata’ to make things simpler and easier to pronounce. ‘nga’ is pronounced ‘na’, but waiata is pronounced ‘wayata’ as it looks. When we first started working together, I asked nga waiata about how to pronounce her name and if the letters were all lower case, which they are!

New brand artwork

nga wai sent her new logo and a packet of wooden discs to engrave. I made up an artwork proof, and once she approved it, I was ready to start work.

First, I checked with nga wai what orientation she wanted the discs engraved in. All of them had a pinstripe wood grain. Obvious options were to have the grain going from side to side or top to bottom. nga wai asked me what I thought, and I suggested top to bottom as the logos were horizontal, so that’s what we did.

Engraving tiny wooden tags

All the wooden discs were around 22mm in diameter and appromimately 1mm thick. Being so small and light, it was very important to keep them secure in the machine during engraving. If left unsecured, the discs would just blow around in the machine under the compressed air jet that keeps the machine lens and the item for engraving clean and cool.

BluTac is a wonderful thing, and is perfect during jobs like this. I set up each piece individually for best results, and use a slow engraving speed that helps achieve sharp results on small, detailed engravings. These logos are only 16mm wide.

And as nga wai wanted a nice depth of engraving as well as good contrast, a slow engraving helped. As the dwell time of the laser was several times longer than my usual settings would allow, the engravings were deeper with a lovely tactile 3D effect.


nga wai was delighted with the new tags, and she drilled the holes and finished them herself. Branding items like jewellery and furniture can be challenging, and it’s important for makers to have their mark on their work.

I love seeing pictures of nga wai’s new work with the tags on. The fluorite necklace above was sent to the Caribbean a couple of weeks ago. Fearne Cotton has also been one of nga waiata’s customer’s recently!


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