Audio Series: Jade Art by Niki Nepia | Mountain Jade New Zealand

interviews - 07,Jan,2016

Audio Series: Jade Art by Niki Nepia

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Last week we spoke with Niki Nepia about how he began a career hand crafting jade in a quick segment called '10 Minutes: With Jade Artist Niki Nepia,' but there's more to the story. So this week we continue that story with an audio recording that dives a little deeper. In the coming months we hope to continue building an image of Niki in the minds of you, appreciators of hand craft and the unbelievably unique material we carve, jade. To listen press the audio play button below or read the transcript.



How and why did you begin jade carving?

I started carving wood when I was at High School...and umm...I did my first big piece of wood which was a headstone.


It sat on a headstone. It was a turning point in my life towards carving. I carved a bone piece not long after that piece and did my first binding (the rope lashing you see at the top of many jade necklaces). After I left school I had the opportunity to come and work for Mountain Jade...oh The Jade Factory (this used to be our business name). Not for Jade Factory, but under Louis (another very talented New Zealand carver).

You've mentioned you enjoy carving intricate pieces?

I like carving intricate stuff. It kinda gets your mind thinking and it pushes your boundaries. I’d like to get into three-dimensional pieces in the future, similar to the Chinese carving but keeping the Maori aspect in the carving as well. My style is more kinda like the contemporary Maori style.

Do you have a favourite carving you've made?

They're all pretty bloody amazing (jokes).

They are.

Nick Ford: Aren’t we weird creatures. You know, you get the most amazing carver in the world (he is refering to Niki Nepia) and they still think their carvings are crap.