- Where does this art form originate?
- Who are the Maori people?
- How are they made?
- How do I care for my carving?
- Can I order a custom design?
- Do you have other designs?
- What type of payment do you accept?
- What does “one-of-a-kind” mean?
- What is your return policy?
- Are there shipping fees?
1. Where does this art form originate?
These designs are based on the traditional forms and symbols of my people: the Maori of New Zealand. Historically, the Maoris did not have a written language and used carving as a way to convey meaning, describe ancestry, mark territory, and express their creativity, etc. Today, the Maori still use carving in the same way, but they also regard carving as an art form that reflects a deep connection between people, the natural world, and the spiritual elements that surround us.
2. Who are the Maori people?
The Maori are one branch of the Polynesian people and share some genetic and cultural characteristics with Hawaiians, Cook Islanders, Samoans, etc. Originally from the islands of the South Pacific, the Maori migrated to Aotearoa (New Zealand) thousands of years ago.
3. How are they made?
I hand-carve all the designs in my studio. I start with raw beef bone, which I simmer for 8 – 12 hours in a non-bleach, natural degreaser solution. Once the bone has dried and cured for a few weeks, I cut it into slabs using a band saw. Next, I sketch the shape of the design and cut it out using a variety of electric tools, hand tools, and files. Once the basic form has been shaped, I hand-sand each piece using a range of sandpaper grades. When they are finished I lightly buff each design using a felt wheel.
4. How do I care for my carving?
Carvings are pretty durable, especially those made from beef bone. However, it is a good idea to avoid chlorination in pools, hot tubs, etc. In general carvings can be worn in both saltwater and freshwater. Please note that carvings will form a natural patina as they are worn. This patina develops as the carving absorbs the natural oil from your skin. If your carving starts to have a dry appearance, you can rub it with natural vegetable oil. I especially like coconut oil.
Carvings made from walrus, wooly mammoth, and Steller’s sea cow material should be treated with a little extra care. Because these materials are 200 – 50,000 years old, they can be more delicate. I advise people to wear these carvings next to their skin for about 2 months before wearing them in any type of water. Or, you can treat the carvings with natural vegetable oil to speed this process along. Again, coconut oil works great. If you want to be safe, I would advise against wearing Steller’s sea cow and wooly mammoth in any type of water.
5. Can I order a custom design?
Yes. Most designs can be carved in any of the materials I use and they can be carved to a specific size. If you see a design that has been sold, I can usually carve another similar shape using a similar or different material, but the original colors may not be readily duplicated. Or, if you have ideas for new shapes, please call or email me and we can begin the design process together. Contact.
6. Do you have other designs?
Yes. The designs on the website are a sampling of my carvings, but it is not a complete inventory. For instance, I may have one design in a few different sizes or with slight variations. Many designs change and develop, as I am constantly looking for new forms. If you see a design that you like, but it is not quite what you wanted, please contact me! Contact.
7. What type of payment do you accept?
For most customers, please use PayPal when purchasing on-line. PayPal is secure and allows a customer to make purchases with credit cards. Please contact me if you have any questions regarding payment.
For New Zealand customers, please contact me directly if you would like to make a payment via personal cheque or bank transfer. Contact.
8. What does “one-of-a-kind” mean?
Photos of one-of-a-kind carvings show the actual piece that is for sale. This is now the case for all of my carvings. (Although, I do welcome custom orders.) My carvings typically ship within 3 to 5 business days; and shipping can take from 3 days to 3 weeks depending on location.
9. What is your Return Policy?
I value your satisfaction above all else. Items, excluding custom orders, will be returnable within 21 days of receipt, if they have not been worn. Please notify me within the 21 day period by email or telephone, or your return may be declined. Customer pays for return shipping.
Custom orders are not returnable.
Please make sure I receive the item to be returned within 30 days of your receipt, or contact me to let me know it’s on its way.
Send your returns or exchanges to me at the address listed on the Contact page. After I have received your return, inspected it, and approved it, I will send you an email with the details of your credit.
For the rest of the world: Purchases over $124.00 USD are FREE. Purchases under $125.00 USD will be charged a flat shipping fee of $12.00 USD. Packages should arrive within 10-15 business days of order date. In some rare cases, items sent to certain countries may incur additional shipping fees. Please enquire for specific countries and rates. Contact.