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Kia Ora

Rhys H

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Greetings from a long time lurker, first time poster...


I'm a stone carver from the west coast of NZ's South Island. To say I'm passionate about carving would be an understatement...I have spent most of the last 10 years of my life absorbing all I can - from tools, techniques fossicking and geology , as well as being involved in many facets of the local arts scene. I create jewellery made from locally gathered beach stone, along with the occasional sculpture when I get the time. My initial focus was jade carving but that has become a bit of a luxury for me these days :)


I really should have registered here long ago, having spent many years admiring various artists' work and gleaning useful tips, but I have found it hard work to maintain an online presence in recent years. I must also admit to an ulterior motive for finally taking the plunge - I'm trying to find a friend in Japan who I have lost touch with, and am hoping members of the netsuke community may be able to help.


Now I'm here, however, I will share some work...and I will also chime in from time to time if I feel I can help.


















(images tidied up and now hosted on TCP)

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Beautiful lines and beautiful work. I really like the use of "common" stones to make such uncommon work. I think I suffer from the mindset that if I had better materials, etc., that the work would be better. Your work serves as a perfect example that the work is what matters. This is what I do: http://picasaweb.google.com/deborahkirkpatrick56, I carve stone also.


Welcome to the forum and I hope you find your friend.


Debbie K

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Kia ora


WOW amazing work do you use chisels or gravers to carve stone or is it all done by machinery and could you give me some info on argillite isa it a form of greenstone is it softer

and what is it like to work with



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Cheers for the replies....

Debbie - Thanks! Yes, I am a firm believer that the message is more important than the medium and I love to to collect my own materials. Love your work too with the exotic blend of precious and unusual materials and its mythical/classical feel. I remember your baroque pearl piece very well from earlier visits here. I have a few unusual pearls that I have plans for, but lacking fabrication skills limits my ways of joining disparate materials. I have done a few simple stone and pearl pieces - think there may be one or two on my website (linked in sig).


Billy/G - Getting to be a few of us on here now eh? I knew one day I'd sign up...I've often felt slightly guilty at the amount of enjoyment I've had from this place without at least introducing myself. I feel like I know many of the people here quite well even though I've only lurked.


Jas! Yeah, 'twas only a matter of time...I reckon JF may be tempted (and possibly reading this?) but Andy is not much into the online networking thing outside of the bare essentials for moving his wares. Facebook is where the action is brother - we have all sorts of discussion happening from carvers around the planet with lots of juicy jade pics!

Form are suffering through very hard times - the latest quake will take a huge effort to rebound from and it could be months before public access to the CBD resumes. JF has been keeping in touch with Koji so let's keep our fingers crossed. Their shop (aside from stock loss) and the big gallery are fine so let's hope when the city reopens for business that they will be ready for us. It's been too long between drinks for us and I have a lot of work to get made!


Maha - Kia Ora! I have been admiring your work too and really enjoyed seeing your work cast into glass. I have done some moldmaking and casting from my stone pieces and cast glass has been on my mind for many years... but I have lacked access to tuition and resources. I have carved some pieces (ie cold worked) from Gaffer billets and it is beautiful stuff. I will get there one day when I find someone with a kiln!

My carvings are all done with a micromotor handpiece (NSK) and diamond burrs...but is a big compliment that you thought I may use gravers, as that is the effect I'm looking for. I did a short whakairo class a while back and have spent the time since trying to replicate woodcarving techniques and effects in my stone work using the diamond tools.

Argillite (pakohe) comes in various hardness...the stuff I use is found in pebble form on the beaches near Greymouth and is softer than the metasomatised variant traditionally used for making toki. Both forms are softer than jade and the thing I love is that the grain is extremely fine, so it will hold any detail that you can throw at it. It is very hard to find the best pieces though...I would say almost as rare as pounamu pebbles to get a super smooth fine grained banded piece like the one I used above. That said, I just found perhaps the best one yet on my last trip south and I'm amping to get stuck into it!

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Kia ora Rhys,


Welcome here, nice to see that more and more maori inspired artist are joining.

Your work is really nice, I particularly like the curve of the Kae and the very fine details. Also all your pieces have this clean finish that shows your precision.

Thank's for sharing

Take care


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