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frequently asked questions about bone carving in nelson
Q: "Do I need any previous experience or 'artistic talent'?"
  • A: Not at all. I guide you through the process, it's very hands-on and straight forward. I'm always there for help or advice were needed.
    Bone is a lovely and pleasant material to work with, great if you haven't done anything like it before!  
    You will amaze and surprise yourself!
Q: "I can't even draw it properly, will it turn out nice?"
  • A: Oh yes, it will turn out amazing and beautiful! It is much easier to get a real bone carving nice and smooth with sandpaper and hand tools, you will get it better than anyone could draw it!
    Don't just take my word for it, check out the 'guest comments' page....
Q: "Will I miss out on the gorgeous Nelson sunshine...?"
  • A: We have a lovely secluded garden area at the studio to sit outside for much of the process to soak up the sun. There's a fair amount of planning, coffee and tea drinking, lunch and handwork, chatting and general having fun that we can do outside.  
    Don't forget your sunscreen on days like that....
    Bone carving is a great thing to do on any day!
Q: "How long will it take to finish the piece?"
  • A: As every person and every design is unique the time to finish a piece varies to some degree.
    Most of all: we've got enough time to get it finished beautifully, to take the right decisions, to learn and laugh along the way, to have a coffee or tea and sit in the sun while you sand it smooth...
    The average time to be finished with a piece is around 3pm in the afternoon.
Q: "Can I incorporate a piece of Paua shell or wood into the carving design?"
  • A: Yes, often that's possible, I don't charge extra for one piece to put in.
    However, on some designs there's technical limitations, it just doesn't fit or work with the shape of carving or so. I give you advice on that when you're here at the workshop and plan your design.
    The  photo on the homepage button (above left) is a great example of how to put Paua shell into a design in a great way that technically works well.
Q: "But I've got two left hands and five thumbs on each....?!"
  • A: No worries, we do little miracles on a daily basis... again, check out the guest comments page, you're in great company!
Q: "How can I book?"
  • A: Please phone 03 5464275, that's the quickest and fastest way to secure a spot. Usually in a minute we've talked through all the details, you can request a pick-up free of charge from accommodation in Nelson city etc.  
    You can also email for bookings, that can result in a bit of back and forwarding of messages, so for short notice and ease I recommend the good old phone line.
Q: "Can I just turn up at your workshop to join in?"
  • A: You might miss out because it's already fully booked or I may be not available on that particular day for some reason. Just a quick phone call, even short notice, is the way to go or an email. Thanks.
Q: "When are your workshops available?"
  • A: Most of the time from Mondays to Saturdays (in peak season), but it's a good idea to phone for above reasons. In shoulder season I'm usually available Mondays to Fridays.
    Again, please inquire to find out for a specific date.
Q: "How many people will be there?"
  • A: I like to keep groups small with a max of 6 persons usually, so it's a great personal environment which allows for amazing carvings, a great experience and no stress along the way.
Q: "How can I pay for a workshop?"
  • A: To keep overhead costs and the overall price down as much as possible please pay cash on arrival at workshop.
    I can't accept credit cards at workshop for that reason, it would drive the price up unnecessarily.
Q: Can I order Bone Carvings from you?"
  • A: Absolutely! It's a pleasure to do commission work, I also have some finished carvings usually on display at my studio, come and have a browse!
    Please visit my online gallery!
    If you're ordering from overseas I offer secure payments via PayPal, orders within NZ can be paid by direct credit on National Bank account or NZ bank cheque.
Q: "Those DVDs look interesting, I might get into it back home as a hobby, will I be able to do it?"
  • A: You sure will be, those DVDs give you a great headstart. I will show you through the process step-by-step, very good close-up shots explain everything in detail, every step is shown. 
    They are based on 15 years of experience in running my workshops.
    The Foundation 2 DVD video set will get you on the way and also explains cleaning of the bone and Paua shell, basic tool set up without spending unneccessary money. The Masterclass DVDs build on that and will get you so much further, showing you the whole process of creating a stunning twist and fantastic lashing techniques.
    Most of all with the range of the four different designs shown in DVDs you got a huge skill set for a near endless design variety! Shipping cost is included in the prices mentioned here.
    I believe it's the best investment you can make to get into bone carving and it will save you a lot of money spent on the wrong things and avoid the most painful 'trial and error' incidents...
    I wish I would have had those when I started out!