Jade Carving Excellence Award | Mountain Jade New Zealand

news - 10,Feb,2016

Jade Carving Excellence Award



This award was founded in conjunction with Tai Poutini Polytech, New Zealands only tertiary institute offering an in depth hard stone carving course that teaches carving technique, design, and business skills, giving students a thorough grounding in carving as a career option.

Our idea behind the award was to encourage novice carvers and acknowledge the new generation of talented artists who want to work in the professional hard stone carving industry. By offering real world experience in a professional workshop, we can add value to Tai Poutini's efforts.

The award winner will receive a certificate, a block of Canadian jade and the opportunity to spend five days in Mountain Jade’s Hokitika studio, being mentored by workshop manager and carver Robert Singer on production carvings techniques.

We hope the winner will carve a range of their own pieces while with us and take the opportunity to learn as much as possible from one of the best in the business.

How it works

The award is to be made annually to a full-time Jade and Hard Stone Carving Certificate or Diploma student of Tai Poutini Polytechnic. Students will be nominated for the award by their Programme Tutor, Leader or Head of Department based on their overall academic and creative performance during their year of study.

Nomination forms and portfolios of work will be sent to us here at Mountain Jade where we will select the winner. The award will then be presented at the annual TPP Greymouth Graduation Ceremony.

The winner will be mentored by workshop manager and carver Robert Singer for five days in our Hokitika carving studio. Robert Singer will work alongside the recipient and set daily carving tasks to teach about jade and production carving processes.

We will provide all tools and equipment for use, the winner must only bring the block of Canadian Jade they won to carve over the five days. 

Anything the winner carves, they keep.

We want to foster a stronger jade carving industry in New Zealand.



We have been in the industry for over 25 years, employing, teaching and helping carvers the best we can to create the art they love. This experience has given us a great insight into the struggles budding stone carvers face when attempting to make a formal start in the stone carving industry. These are some of the problems and questions they face:

Stone carving is an obscure craft which means mentorship is hard to find. The material is hard and extremely hard to source. Setting up an efficient workshop is a challenge. Sourcing good quality affordable tooling can be costly. And most importantly, where can I sell my work for the price It deserves? 

Mountain Jade was founded by, and is still run by a family of carvers. We have encountered each problem that the carvers we want to help now face, and are committed to developing our business in a way that helps them with the struggles they face. This carving excellence award is stage one. It encourages the free trade of knowledge through a mentorship with one of our most senior carvers, which will help them learn the real world lessons they need to, quickly, and with guidance.

Robert Singer has been carving for over 30 years. He manages a team of carvers in our Hokitika branch and is responsible for overseeing the production of our best selling products. He's a very skilled carver. Beyond this, Robert expresses his love of nature and the great outdoors by carving images of deer, fantails, and kiwi in jade from all over the world. The knowledge he can impart on the winner will be invaluable.

Eligible institutions: Tai Poutini Polytechnic 

2015: Nick Balme

2013: Lee Richardson