Des Hetherington’s fascination and affinity with jade was sparked by an encounter with an ancient pounamu (New Zealand jade) adze at Karamea on the West Coast of the South Island. It was the start of a lifelong journey of discovery.
In 1968, Des’ family moved to the heart of New Zealand’s greenstone country, and he began to learn about the many beautiful forms of New Zealand jade. The beauty of Kokopu, Inanga, Kahurangi and Marsden Flower jade varieties hold a special fondness with this artist.
In the early seventies, already a highly creative and artistic person who found expression in music, Des was encouraged into the art of carving the stone he so loved into jade art.
Over his career, Des's captivation with Maori jade art has grown and in recent years he has had the honour and fortune of being mentored in the intricacies of wood carving by a Maori master carver. Des believes this additional knowledge has infused his primarily one-off designs with a new purity and spirit.