Carving pounamu in the square

A mobile pounamu carving stand at Cathedral Square is showing people in Christchurch how to work with the precious stone these school holidays.

The pounamu carving unit has been set up outside the central city library, Tūranga, to give people a chance to create their own greenstone pieces.

The free hour-long workshops, which aim to bring the art of carving to the community, are being run by Tūhono Taonga Tūhono Tāngata Trust.

They finish at 2pm today but the trust is hoping to secure more funding to allow them to share their love of pounamu with more of the community. 

Queues of people were waiting for their chance to have a go yesterday. Master carver and artist, Jon Jeet, said he was amazed by the response.

"People just love shaping and just love making," he said.

"Especially something so inherently beautiful as pounamu."

All materials to do the job are supplied for the keen beginners, with new carvers rotated every hour.

The workshops will be on a first-in-first-served basis throughout the day. If the facilitators are busy when you show up you may need to wait a little.

The workshops are open to all ages, though younger children will need to be accompanied by an adult.

- By Geoff Sloan
- Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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