Richard decided to teach himself carving, at a time this was relatively uncommon in New Zealand.
Moving from a background that typifies the lot of untrained Maori, he overcome the doubts and ridicule of his peers, by dedicating to his craft art, providing for his family while mastering the craft.
Today his ability is held in awe by his friends; he is acknowledged throughout the New Zealand Pounamu (NZ Nephrite Jade) community.
Traditional Pounamu was carved by a Tohunga Whakairo (“a priest of patterning in wood and stone”), a position in pre-European Aotearoa of ritualised significance; a new life is born from the egg like form of a boulder, that to an untrained eye is unremarkable.
Pounamu Tikis, Mere (clubs) and ornaments were held in the highest regard, carrying Mana (spiritual significance), signifying rank and wealth.
One might (incorrectly) liken the car driven today, to the Pounamu worn yester year; but more, much more than bling (showy iconic wealth).
Richard has achieved a level of skill that is rarely reached.
He has been blessed in the traditional manner, worked the stone using the original Maori implements; his work speaks for itself, perfection in form and integrity.
His skill with the unworked stone is strengthened by an instinctive awareness of where to place the first “blind’ cuts
Highly sought after, his work is held in private and public collections worldwide.
He will struggle for days with the original design for each piece; often one form follows the previous carved, in an evolution of forms, until the mood moves elsewhere.
The development of a work is guided, during the carving, by the stone, and as the piece in progress speaks to him.
The level of finishing is exquisite often taking days where lessor carvers turn out clumsy work.
Richard’s fascination with The Earth, Healing, and Karmic responsibility may be viewed as New Age by those unfamiliar with the ancient roots of his craft and the source of his learning.
His recent survival of cancer, see Richard returning to carving.
His journey is guided by the need to carve and the effect he has in uplifting individual livies by random, and lasting interactions with others on a spiritual path.
He is an inspired and loving person; his work reflects this.
Obtaining an original piece can be difficult.
Commissions can be discussed and pieces are available; one must be quick!