Meet our Carvers and Artisans
Aaron is a born and bred West Coaster who's carving journey started over 25 years ago.
Over this time Aaron's carving expertise has grown immensely.
Aaron has gained experience in freeform, production and one-off designs. He also helps with commission pieces, stone cutting, sculptures and inset jewellery.
Aaron has been a valued member of the Waewae Pounamu team for over 10 years now and offers a significant amount of skill and experience.
Brent is of Scottish and Celtic Kiwi descent. He has grown up all over the South Island of Aotearoa. Brent's carving journey began as a kid making his own toys from sellotape, copper wire and cardboard. As Brent grew, he progressed into carving wooden knives, pipes and flutes. He eventually moved into harder mediums and experimented with collecting and carving rocks from rivers.
Brent's passion for carving pounamu ignited when he was mentored by a local carver in Greymouth. He now immerses himself in his own carving journey, learning as he goes. Brent considers himself a kaitiaki in that everything he puts his hands on will become a worthy piece of art.
Nikita was born and raised in the Otago region and came to learn stone carving on the West Coast in 2017. It was then that Nikita really began to connect with pounamu for the first time, and gained a deep appreciation for why it is revered in Aotearoa and around the world.
Nikita loves creating realism style pieces, and thoroughly enjoys watching any design appear from a chunk of rough stone.
You can see more of Nikita’s work on Instagram @nikitajean_element
Ahakoa he iti he pounamu
Aaron is of Ngāti Waewae descent who was born and raised in Christchurch.
Aaron returned to his homeland in Hokitika 7 years ago and then joined the Waewae team.
Aaron has seven years' experience carving pounamu and
specialises in production, commission carvings and stone cutting.
Aaron spends much of his time carving and mining for pounamu within the hapū of Ngāti Waewae.
Turi is of Ngāti Waewae descent. 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.
Although Turi no longer works at Waewae Pounamu, we are privileged to still have some of his sculptures in our store.
Des Hetherington is a He is a well-known and well-respected Pounamu carver. His fascination and affinity with Pounamu was sparked by an encounter with an ancient 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 pounamu art has grown immensely. In his recent years, he has had the honour of being mentored in the intricacies of wood carving by a Māori master carver.
Although Des no longer works at Waewae Pounamu, we are privileged to still have his some of his carvings in our store.
Kurtis Bells' love for pounamu sparked when he received his first piece from his Grandfather when he was a child. Raised on the West Coast, Kurtis has been drawn to the outdoors for as long as he can remember.
Kurtis grew fascinated with pounamu and how traditional Māori utilized it. He loves to walk alongside the riverbeds looking for pounamu, seeing it in its natural state.
Kurtis has been carving for over 10 years and his passion and skill continue to evolve. He carves a wide variety of Pounamu, from modern contemporary pieces to traditional Māori taonga.
Although Kurtis no longer works at Waewae Pounamu, we are privileged to have some of his commission carvings in our store.
Although these carvers are not employed by Waewae Pounamu, we are privileged to have some of their taonga carved from Ngāi Tahu authenticated pounamu in our shop available for purchase.