The art of carving pounamu (New Zealand greenstone) is a craft that dates back hundreds of years. For so many proud kiwis, this stone that is said to carry mana is revered and held up as a symbol of the land we live in, that we love. More than that, it's part of who we are - a physical representation of our very DNA as New Zealanders.
Wearing pounamu close to your heart is something symbolic beyond words; often a piece will carry with it the many generations who have worn it before, becoming something of a living heirloom passed on for generations.
Pounamu is known as the living stone or 'the gemstone that swims like a fish' said to have its own spirit, like a fish, and is considered taonga by Māori, which can be roughly translated as 'treasure'.
Incredibly tough times
At Mountain Jade, we consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to work with - not only this extraordinary treasure - but the many, many talented, independent artists up and down the country who deliver exceptional kiwi craftsmanship, in breathing this stone into life.
We are a longstanding family business, who've had stores here in New Zealand for over 35 years. For the first time since 1986, those stores have closed their doors to the public.
But the journey doesn't need to end there...
Pictured: Working from her family home Sheree Warren is also a tutor at Tai Poutini Polytechnic.