Course Attended: Jade and Hard Stone Carving (L5)
West Coast study reveals an artistic talent
Attracted to the West Coast by a desire to be closer to the rugged bush and mountains, Brent Scott stumbled across a career path he never knew existed – and one that fits him perfectly.
Brent had left his position as an orchard worker in Motueka to study carpentry at Tai Poutini. Almost immediately, he saw students in the Jade and Hard Stone Carving programme doing what they loved, and felt an affinity with their work.
“I guess I’ve always been artsy and into making things, but I didn’t know where to channel that passion,” he says.
“I’ve always loved experimenting with carving in wood and stone, teaching myself and trying to do better than the original.”
After finishing his carpentry study, Brent completed the Certificate and then the Level 5 Diploma in Jade and Hard Stone Carving.
He says that the diploma programme has developed his passion for carving traditional instruments.
“A few years back, my brother met a traveller who had a native American flute. We loved it, and I wanted to discover what it would sound like in a different key – so I made it, in bamboo, and it was better than the original.
“Since being here at Tai Poutini, I’ve been researching traditional Maori flutes, the kōauau and the nguru. I made a couple out of wood, and then wondered how they would sound in jade. The result is reminiscent of the mist in the forest, it’s a very eerie, beautiful sound.”
Brent says the Diploma programme suits people who are interested in developing a career as an artist or sculptor.
“Jade is a wonderful, but finite, resource, and it deserves to be made into pieces of genuine art. I want to make that part of who I am,” he says.
“The diploma pushes you into thinking of what you should carve and to develop your own sort of style. If you want to go out by yourself and be an artist, go for the diploma year and make the most of it.”
Brent says that his ultimate goal is to create a lifestyle where he’s working as an artist, doing what he loves, and earning a living at the same time.
“This course has provided me with the opportunity to do that. It gets you set up, and off to a good start, and for me, studying here on the stunning West Coast has been a bonus.”