Ten Minutes with Jade Artist Aaron Brown
Aaron Brown is our newest artist at Mountain Jade. He has his own studio, ‘A Carved Piece’ where he works on sculptures and carved pieces of jade Jewellery influenced by nature. We sat down with Aaron Brown to have a chat about his creative process and unique background in the sculpting industry.
Where did you grow up?
The Shore in Auckland, though I’m now based in Cambridge. I’ve also lived in England.
Has your hometown inspired your carving?
I guess, it’s more so nature in general that has inspired me. I carve a lot of leaf forms and animals, all of which are inspired by nature.
Where did you learn to carve?
I’m self taught, I started doing a little bit in my spare time outside of sculpting and picked up techniques along the way.
I did come across John Edgar and he invited me to his studio to bounce some ideas off of him and source stone.
I still drop in every now and then and to show him what I’m working on, maybe once or twice a year. So although I never had a teacher, if I was to name someone who helped me get started and offered initial encouragement, it would be him.
I still don’t actually know many carvers, since my background was in sculpting commercially that’s sort of where I got started within the space, I'm used to working on my own.
When did you start carving?
I started about 10 years ago though it was only part time, mainly over the weekends as I continued sculpting for businesses overseas. It was hard to get into the groove of carving at that point though, as there wasn’t enough time to learn the techniques and really work at it.
I started carving full time however about 2 to 3 years ago and it was quite a change to go from commercial sculpting to an artist type business model, selling your pieces in galleries and having to market yourself.
What is your favourite variety of jade to carve?
I don’t really have a favourite although I prefer jade with a fine grain. For carving fine detail it’s much easier if the grain is fine as you can get more precision and detail into your designs without worrying about pieces breaking off or chipping. I've found it easier to source jades for this overseas. I started off carving a lot of jade from Wyoming, mainly due to having connections over there to source the stone from. I suppose the best stones I have used in the past is honey olive jade from Wyoming and black Australian jade.
What has inspired you to start creating the objects you do?
I like animals and natural objects and elements. I’ve started carving native New Zealand birds recently and enjoy making them to scale with a lot of intricate detail. I guess most of my designs for pendants are a little abstract too, In my sculptures I like mixing the silver and wood to create the finer detailing or bases.
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