Mountain Jade Studio
Inside the Mountain Jade workshop, talented pounamu carvers call on specialist skills to transform raw stone into carved art.
"Working with pounamu remains a remarkably hands on process."
Mountain Jade Workshop
Between them, the carvers cut the rock with the grain before it is closely examined or "read" to decide how best to utilise its natural beauty, taking account of any faults or fractures. It is then sliced, marked, trimmed and transformed into pounamu jewellery or sculpture. Each carver focuses on a particular talent, whether that means specialising in design or honing the skill and patience needed to work with hand tools. One carver has more than 30 years experience 'reading' raw stone and the final polishing work requires careful handling too. These carvers may have set aside the traditional tools of their ancestors but they continue to utilise generations of knowledge as well as modern technology in their work.
Since the moment – at age 5 – that Robert Singer found his first piece of jade, the stone has been both a fascination and a muse. "Jade was plentiful...
A ‘true blue Coaster’, Johnny Vroblfski has spent his life exploring the West Coast of the South Island – the jade capital of New Zealand. In 1970, Johnny followed his heart – and natural talent – to make jade carving his career.