Saturday Daydreaming: Planning and Accidents

Ian Longley, Concepts in Stone; stone carver and sculptor. His studio is at Founders Park, Nelson, and he can be found at the Nelson Saturday Market most weeks.

It is bad luck to buy New Zealand Greenstone, or Pounamu, for oneself; it is best given as a gift. Ben wanted a fish hook for some years, so on Christmas 2006, he got one carved by Ian. About two years later, the skinny part broke, so I had Ian fix it and put on a new lashing, and at the same time, got Ben a whale's tail also.

Unlike weaving, stone carving is unpredictable; no amount of planning, experience or skill can completely prevent a piece being made from the weak part of the rock, and until he cuts into the stone, he cannot know the exact look of the piece. Which is half the thrill of working with stones, I suspect. It's a totally different from the way I work, of course, but a little bit of elements of surprise may be fun to incorporate in my weaving.

I love visiting his studio to pick a stone and a design and choose the area of the stone, discussing aspects of the individual stone with Ian and envisioning the finished piece.


  1. Isn't it fun to see the different types and shades of pounamu.

  2. Yes, and this one is from the same rock but a different part of Ben's fishhook, because he likes variated, nuanced colors. Whereas I'd probably go straight to the deepest darkest green bit...


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