In the summer of 2018 Claudia invited Nick Spicer Balme and Madelyn Gourdin to Jade City to carve Jade. Madelyn who grew up in France, worked as a apprentice stone carver, sculptor and restorer on historical monuments mostly in Paris. After a trip to New Zealand in 2015, she began carving Jade in 2016 and met Nick. together they created "Kawakawa Stone." Now they travel the world following different jade sources, learning about different jade culture and arts. In 2017, Mady participated to the International Jade Competition 'Zi Gang Bei' in Suzhou, China, and received a Gold Medal for her piece 'Ocean'. In 2019, Mady participated again to the 'Zi Gang Bei' Festival in China and received an other Gold Medal for her piece 'The Spring Puzzle'. She brings European style to New Zealand stone, creating a fusion of the two worlds. Nick grew up in New Zealand, and started carving materials such as bone, antler, and wood by hand. He then moved to the heart of Pounmau(Jade) country and attended school to learn how to carve stone. Graduating with a Diploma in Hard-stone Carving and Passing with Merit, he also received the Mountain Jade Excellence Award for a Jade Chandelier he created. In 2016 Nick became a member of the 'Nautilus Creative Space', where Kawakawa Stone workshop is located. The same year he competed in the NZ Jade Artists Society and received a Silver Medal in the Contemporary Category and was awarded the Emerging Artist Award for New Upcoming Artist for his piece 'Chinese Landscape'. In 2017 Nick received a Silver Medal his piece 'Growth' at the International Jade exhibition Zei Gang Bei in Suzhou, China. Finally in 2019 Nick received an award for 'Creativity and Innovation' for his articulated piece 'Thopter' again at Zei Gang Bei in Suzhou, China. Heavily influenced by the natural environment, plants and landscapes, carving was a way to connect with nature allowing him to channel and create his own representations, through a contemporary organic style with influence from native Maori art. View more of their work here https://www.kawakawastone.com/
In the summer of 2019 Claudia invited Cameron to come to Jade City and carve jade. Cameron was born in New Zealand where he grew up for some years before his family moved to Australia. Cameron started knife making at the young age of 10, making his own tools to even make the knives. He started with carving bone and antler before inheriting jade and jade carving tools in 2015. He started the journey of learning how to carve jade. Cameron grew his skills immensely in Jade City by carving one of a kind pieces. He carved a jade ceremonial peace pipe, a jade salmon, the first ever working jade key and lock, among many other necklaces, earrings etc. You can purchase Cameron's pieces on our website here by searching "cameron." Cameron's new website is http://www.theworkshop.live/.