I lost my right arm in a wrestling match with a wringer washing machine as a small child in the 60's. It's certainly made life interesting. I started carving in my mid 20's after attending a Maori Artist and Writers hui in Kawhia and learning to make jigsaw puzzles for my children. The tool that we used to make the jigsaw puzzles was a Dremel Motor Tool and one of the accessories that came with the machine was a flexible shaft that plugged onto the end of the motor. The flexible shaft drove a variety of different burrs that could be used for carving and that became the start of my carving adventure. I still have that machine, but no longer use it. Instead it hangs on the wall in our studio and reminds me of where I have come from.

I, like most carvers I know have taught myself to carve and I still consider myself to be a learner. I prefer to work in a contemporary style of carving and I take my inspiration mostly from the natural world, I have my own ideas about the form, flow and finish in the work that I do & I am constantly looking for ideas that could make interesting carvings. I have great respect for some of New Zealand's many talented artists and the internet has shown me that there are people all over the world creating beautiful work. I also admire the Japanese style of carving called Netsuke. As a Maori I am aware of some of the history of carving as far as Traditional Maori Carving goes. I admire and respect the work that our people have done and still do, but Traditional Carving hasn't been a focus in my work. To my mind Traditional carving should be left to the people who have the Traditional knowledge and the passion to pursue that line of carving. Every Tribal group has their own unique style of carving and they are all subtly different, it is the knowledge of the differences or lack of that makes copying Traditional styles of carving a potential minefield.

I  consider myself to be a Creative Person, not just a carver as I enjoy the challenges and the process of making many things out of all sorts of different media. I worked as a Bone Carving Tutor for  7 years for a Community Arts centre in Christchurch called Floyds Creative Arts whose focus was providing access to the arts for people in the community with mental and physical disabilities. During my time with Floyds I was not only able to help and encourage others in expressing themselves, but was also encouraged to develop my own creative abilities and technical skills.