A spark of fascination as a child grew into a career of extraordinary artwork for passionate carver Alex Sands. Sands (Ngāti Kahungunu o Te Wairoa, Ireland, Scotland, England) began soft stone carving at 12 years old, influenced by pounamu (jade) creations of his Māori ancestors. Over 20 years later, he founded Sands Carving Studio with his wife Preet to share his love and art with the world. Although sourcing, exploring, and creating with pounamu remains his most ardent passion, Sands also works with stone, wood, metal, and bone to carve one-of-a-kind sculptures, hei tiki, and other forms of personal adornments.
Pounamu is a precious stone taonga (treasure) found in Aotearoa throughout the west coast of Te Wai Pounamu (South Island). The term encompasses nephrite, bowenite, and serpentinite, which is carved into forms representing ancestors and connection with the natural world. Most commonly known in its green form, which carries the hues of the forests and rivers, pounamu is valued for its beauty, durability and carving potential. The toki (adze) is a type of blade fashioned from pounamu, which is used by Māori for survival, whakairo (carving) and ceremony. Worn as pounamu, this motif imbues the wearer with strength, determination and focus as sharp as the axe head. Just as pounamu is a gift from the land, carved greenstone should always be a gift between two people.
Each piece of pounamu jewellery has been made by hand and is one of a kind. Variations in the colour and shape of the pounamu stone may occur as a result. This only adds to the unique beauty and character of each piece.
9.5 x 2.1 x 0.4cm
33cm (approx.) necklace
made in New Zealand