I started carving in 1982. I was working on my dad's vineyard and on the wet days I would sit in the shed with bits of bone, files and sandpaper slowly and labouriously shaping out rudimentary bone carvings . I loved it and felt I had found the right thing for me to do in life but never imagining that I could ever make a living out of it.
I carried on farming and carving until 1993 by this time I had married Sandra (in Scotland) and we had 2 sons Jack and Guy. We gave up the farming and bought the Crystal and Jewellery Shop in Gisborne where I carried on the bone carving in a back room. One of the travelling sales reps who called on us was a very good carver named Pietter Van Den Akker he introduced me to greenstone carving and invited me to his workshop in Rotorua where he taught me the basics. Pete gave me an icecream container of offcuts and a bit of gear and I was hooked.
This began a passion for carving greenstone that is still as strong today. Carving jade appeals to me on lots of levels. I love the spiritual flow that starts at the river with the prospectors who often have some kind of second sight into which stones are greenstone and have a knack of being in the right place at the right time as a stone is exposed or making its way down the river. Next is the sometimes amazing coincidences or synchronicities which happen to connect those stones with me .Sometimes the most amazing part is the carving process itself. Some days I can enter the workshop with no idea what I'm going to do .Sit down at the bench and start carving , come up with a shape ,put it in the shop and a customer will come in and buy it straight away maybe saying that is just what they have been looking for for years.
I must also pay tribute to my lovely wife Sandra who has been by my side right from the beginning .Not only is she the best most supportive loving partner I could hope for but she has a wonderful connection with the stone and with other people and is very good at 'knowing' which carvings are suitable for which people.
It makes us feel like we are part of a bigger picture and playing an important role. It is a wonderful privelige to be able to make something that is going to be treasured at a personal level.