Throughout early childhood Donn’s development was rich in stimuli from the wonders of Rotorua's abundant thermal activity. At the ages of 7 to 8 he would often commandeer his sisters bicycle in early, post dawn escapades. While others slept, discoveries of mysterious, bubbling pools, gurgling hot, steaming mud, fringed with strange organic formations would delight and fascinate the young mind. Unbeknown at the time the basis being formed, even then, for designs of future jade carvings.
( Illustrated here in this carved jade knife, the organic origins of design clearly evident.)
Also rich in Maori culture the environmental energies imprinted a deep influence within Donn which became evident as the years passed and his innate artistic talents evolved.
Carved Jade Cerimonial Knife "Kundai"

Carved Jade knife... 'KUNDAI' .... length 6"

A fine detailed greenstone hei tiki with mother of pearl eyes inlaid with red sealing wax. This is an excellent example of the typical jade artifact being produced from adze for trading post European contact.
Clear memories of elderly Maori women, relaxing in the early morning sunlight, chin moko (tattoo) showing rich in the strong light. Suspended from their necks, finely carved jade tiki reflecting bright greens and long drops of glowing jade ear drops remain as vivid mental images decades later. Appreciation of and fascination for this mystic stone impressed into an enquiring mind at early age.

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