Meet our Carvers and Artisans

Kurtis Bell’s love for Pounamu sparked when he received his first piece from his Grandfather when he was a child. Being raised on the West Coast, Kurtis has been drawn to the outdoors for as long as he can remember. He grew fascinated with Pounamu and how traditional Māori utilized this beautiful treasure. He loves to walk alongside the riverbeds looking for Pounamu, seeing it in its natural state.  

Kurtis has been carving for 10 years. Both his passion and his skill continue to evolve. He carves a wide variety of Pounamu, from modern contemporary pieces to traditional Māori taonga.  

Kurtis has a wealth of knowledge pertaining to Pounamu and kohatu. He is a very valued member of our Waewae Pounamu whānau.

Des Hetherington

Des Hetherington’s fascination and affinity with Pounamu was sparked by an encounter with an ancient Pounamu adze at Karamea. 

In 1968 Des’ family moved to the heart of Pounamu country and he began to learn about its many beautiful forms, and was encouraged into the art of carving the stone he so loved.

Over his career Des’ captivation with Māori Pounamu art has grown further still and in recent years he’s had the honour of being mentored in the intricacies of wood carving by a Māori master carver. 

Aaron Shannon

Aaron Shannon

With 20 years of experience in all traditional and stylised carvings, Aaron Shannon now specialises in stone cutting and cabochon making for inset jewellery.

He has been with the Waewae Pounamu business for over seven years now and offers a considerable amount of skill and experience. Aaron is a very valued member of our Waewae Pounamu whānau. 


Turi Gibbs

Turi Gibbs

Turi is of Ngāi Tahu descent of Ngāti Waewae hapu. He has had over 30 years' experience carving Pounamu, wood and also bone.

Turi specialises in sculpture and unique artwork. He does various commission work for local and international organisations.

Turi has grown up in Hokitika and spends much of his time walking the Awa looking for Pounamu while also learning how sacred and special our Pounamu is.