STEWART ISLAND / RAKIURA
I started carving in the mid-1980s. As a young man I worked on the North Island in the logging industry until being injured by a falling tree.
After recovering from the accident I realised that I needed a change in my life. I was interested in Maori art and started studying it at a local community college in Hawke's Bay. I started to develop my own style - my own pieces of art - using cow bones at the time.
Shortly after I moved to London, where my pieces of carved stones and bones were first exhibited in 1997. To pay the bills I worked as a porter in a hospital.
After a brief stint teaching English in China in 1999, I moved back to New Zealand and found work as the head of the Miniature Greens Department of Weta Workshop in Wellington. This allowed me to work with Sir Peter Jackson on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as other films such as King Kong and The Legend of Zorro.
In 2014 I first came to Stewart Island to visit a college friend and fell in love with its people, environment, seclusion, and natural beauty. I chose to relocate here permanently shortly afterwards and set up my workshop.
Ahakoa he iti,
The finger can see more than the eye.
Join me in my workshop where you can carve your very own piece of pounamu (greenstone) while enjoying stunning views of Halfmoon Bay and the Foveaux Strait.
Not a carver? No worries! I'm experienced teaching and working with people of all skill sets from all corners of the globe.
Additionally, feel free to drop in and browse the pieces I have on display, ask me about the art of carving or my artwork, or just have a chat about living and working in such a beautiful setting as Stewart Island.
Backpacker Guide NZ
"There's no better souvenir than one that you can associate a whole experience with."
"I like to show my students the third dimension which they experience when they carve a piece for themselves."
Merry Adventures (Blog)
"Once I picked my stone, Dave started teaching me how to begin to carve the Toki shape ... he was so patient with me - Dave was a wonderful teacher."