Unique Sculpture

Unique Sculptures has evolved and can now be viewed at


Creative Jade Art

Jade Art is no longer a domain of the Chinese alone. Sculptured jade is an art form gaining recognition from numerous sources around the world. New Zealand jade has enjoyed a global reputation since first being entered into the ship’s log by Captain James Cook as a ‘greenstone’ highly prized by the natives of the country.
Even with the jade consciousness of New Zealand there is very little in the way of creative jade art being produced in the country today. Mindless, repetitive hooks and curls, twists and twirls have so saturated the market creative jade art is difficult to find. Those very few capable of carving jade into viable, creative art forms shy away from the commercialization of this resource.

Diminished is the 'Mana' once assocciated with the wearing or possessing of jade art. Fortunately a realization the integrity of the stone cares little about mans' endevours for gain and appreciation for the occasional treasure offered is always found.
Illustrated here is a rare ‘blue’ jade from Jade Cove, California, titled “Blue Tendril”
A unique jade recovered from the sea at no small risk to life and limb.



Unique Sculptured Jade from Canada

These unique sculptures are exquisite examples of the skill with which Deborah Wilson, exercises with jade recovered from her native, British Columbian deposits. Deborah is one of the very few prominent jade sculptors of British Columbia who continues sculpting creative art works from B.C. jade.
The exquisite jade sculptures capturing the delicate curve of these two shell forms well illustrate the sympathy she portrays toward her chosen subjects.

That essential aspect of inner life, so much sought after in a fine carving, is strongly evident when viewing these remarkable carved jades.

Translucent veneers of clear, green jade are set aglow under subtle lighting, imbuing the forms with an ethereal quality of mystery and intrigue. In this instance the ‘Gift of the Gods’, the ‘Stone of Heaven’ are now sculpted jade treasures from Neptune’s realm.

Creative carving of this international stature is rare. The few equal examples found globally are evidence to the extreme scarcity of quality, contemporary jade carvings. Deborah clearly illustrates her mastery by the skill and maturity evident in these unique jade sculptures of beautiful, marine inspiration.

In February 2008 the city of
Tucson, Arizona hosts an annual, international event of gigantic proportions surrounding lapidary activity and is aptly titled the ‘Tucson Gem Show’.

Deborah Wilson has played a significant role within a small group who have been instrumental in gathering select, internationally recognised jade sculptors to jointly exhibit their individual, unique art in jade. This eclectic exhibition is to be displayed in association with the Friends of Jade at Antiques Plus during the ‘Tucson Gem Show’ period.

More information ……. www.JadeArtNow.com


Kiln Cast, Lead Crystal Skull

A life size, anatomically accurate, kiln cast, Lead Crystal Skull with removable mandible.

Here is a product from a disaster shortly after the turn of the century. With a broken bone in the little finger and a cast from finger tips to just below the elbow all possibility went out the window of carving and sculpting stone, let alone attempting any jade carving. Unable to be productive in the normal sense of day to day activities carving jade the plastic model of a skull was bought out of the 'to do someday box'.
In this instance no wet grinding of jade was required, the master to be... light and easily manipulated with wounded hand. The project began by gluing all parts together before the long process of bogging, filling, priming and sanding could follow. Multi coats of filler primer sprayed over the model, sanded between each, finally culminated, after many days, with a satisfactory master from which to make the ATV, silicon rubber mold. A learning process in it's own right and one which deserves it's own tutorial site. Should sufficient interest be expressed a site for such instruction could be set up for those desiring knowledge of mold making...... contact Donn to affirm interest.
From fruits through the seeming mishap of broken bones unexpected interest in these skulls subsequently led to the development of a one piece smaller version, roughly the size of a fist.

One of the most fascinating aspects of these cast glass skulls is the variety of color available to use, especially the dichroic examples which change dramatically between incandescent and fluro light sources.
A brief explanation of the casting process for lead crystal can be seen here

And latest is the development of a yellow, uranium based glass which fluoresces brilliantly when exposed to an infrared light source, known as 'black light'.
Probably a first in the world is a trial cast of this glass which produced very promising results and will lead to unique sculptures of glass in the future.
To date Gaffer is the only firm, globally, to produce such a glass and may remain so as the protocols require international treaties be signed when using radioactive materials.



Kiln Cast Lead Crystal Glass

The art of kiln cast glass is an extremely popular realm which attracts many people from all walks of life. Discerning collectors discover and pursue their favorite artists, building collections of selected works from those whom they admire.

Casting of glass is not a particularly hi tech procedure. However, it is time consuming and labor intensive. Creating the original pattern, or master, to the finished piece is a progression of numerous stages. These multiple steps requiring different skills and understanding, depending on the patterns complexities.

The original 'Voyager' was carved and sculptured in jade. Surface, shape and structure of the smooth river-worn 45lb. pebble was retained as much as possible, allowing the natural 'organic' energy of the stone to embue that enigmatic sense of life within.

A synthetic rubber mold was able to be taken of this entity providing the means by which this fascinating, green chrystal table sculpture came into being.

Of the few companies producing suitable glass for casting purposes, Gaffer Glass, Auckland … NZ, would have to top the list. They produce a versatile and sympathetic lead crystal glass which, from experience, is far superior to many other options.
They developed this lead crystal specifically for casting. Drawing on a a life times accumulated experience of glass blowing and designing.
The unique flow qualities of their glass is very crucial in obtaining fine detail in small sculptural creations.

Life size anatomy 'Dream Fragments' is a wall mounted 3d. sculpture which glows alive when subtly lit from below...

The pieces illustrated here are an indication only of the possibilities.


Entry Guardian

Some years back (2000?) when driving on a narrow, back-country road a large rock caught my eye. It was on the road side as a partial barrier along the edge of works department activity. The first glance as we drove past struck me so intensely I had examine it. Some miles past the sighting a suitable turning point was found and I returned to have that closer inspection. Wow! It was even better than anticipated! Much too promising to leave there! With assistance from a sympathetic operator with heavy lifting gear a covert expedition was organized and a stealth party of four set off one evening to spirit the stone away and rescue it from inevitable obscurity. With much difficulty, at the limit of the Hiab hoist, it was eventually tumbled into the back of the truck and bought back to the local cafe where it has resided since. Much to the joy of the present owner at the time, who was largely instrumental in the rescue.

A subsequent owner of the establishment bought a demise in trade through inexperience and the estimated 5 ton granite graced the entry courtyard to the café in it’s raw state.

However, a recent change of ownership stimulated the sculpting of this magnificent stone. Rejoicing, many locals gathered to assist the new proprietor in celebration of re-establishing our local watering hole.
My part being the sculpting of the stone, finally revealing the entity concealed within.
Repositioned, again with some difficulty, the recently sculpted entity is now the ‘Entry Guardian’ greeting all who approach.
The benign energy this creature emanates causes a smile to grace the lips of observers and encourages children to climb and play over it's graceful form.


Hand Carved Pods ..Bronze Tendrils

Here are two fine grained, fist size, greywacke pebbles creatively sculptured into original works of art.
The fine, compact composition of this material lends itself admirably to forms suggesting it is somewhat softer than it actually is. Organic softness is represented with subtly carved folds and ridges similar to the contours one would expect to see along a line of vertebrae, or muscles flexing under tight skin.
Sinuous bronze tendrils emerge from within the form, wind their way over the carved surfaces, imparting a sense of mysterious life, not of this world, neither vegetable nor animal. Differences blend in these unique sculptures leaving the observer wondering where sensuous pods such as these would evolve.


Creative Sculpture of Visions in Stone & Ivory

The powerful, creative images shown here are perfect illustrations of found objects, lovingly, hand carved and meticulously detailed. Revealing the unique vision an aware individual sees within these wonderful gifts of the earth. Original works of art are ‘seen’ with the inner eye. Magic is evident when the natural flow offered by this rich bounty from nature is followed in harmony with the inner being. Creative inspiration is an essential component in any visionaries’ existence….. Whether it be of the arts or as a charismatic leader of multitudes or the science lab where inventions evolve to affect mankind.
Few people are able to consciously exist in a state of constant awareness, 24 / 7.
Flashes of required knowledge and experience are available to all who would exercise the option and courage to explore inner realms. Discover the underlying peace which is deep within all of us; cultivate the ability to freely access our inherent harmony and the abundant material for creating original art is miraculously manifest.

Conflicting inner turmoil is the greatest prohibiting factor preventing the recognition of our creative energies and intimate self knowledge. Meditation has long been advocated as an ideal method by which one can quickly develop ready access to subconscious realms to achieve inner peace and harmony thus assisting the release of creative currents.

The original form of this hand sized, humble, greywacke beach pebble is retained with minimal material carefully removed to reveal the peaceful “Dreamer”, embodied under the deceptive weather worn outer surface. With this original sculpture, suggested by the stone itself, Donn has admirably captured the subtleties of inner tranquility that, unfortunately, few allow themselves to experience.

Any appreciation for a sense of calm evoked by 'Dreamer' is purely a reflection of the observer recognising self.

Who could not help but be drawn to the innocent charm of this image portraying both sides of a wonderfully exotic, ivory netsuke.
Owen has masterfully rendered a beautiful, erotic quality in this captivating interpretation of the classic form honoring the "Venus" goddess.
Expertly sculptured from the recovered tip of a Sperm whale's tooth. Gifted during a recreational meadering along an isolated Northland beach.
Solitude and chosen isolation for the interim of visited beach envioronments assist those underlying energies to attract the bounty by which creative souls are offered the opportunity to enrich others lives with their individual vision.


Unique Sculptured Jade

Fine grained, greywacke, beach worn pebbles are a much under valued resource as an acceptable hard stone medium for fine, unique sculptures. The stone is abundant in all parts of the world as it forms a large percentage of the earth’s surface. A hike in the hills on a fine, sunny day can be an exhilarating, rewarding experience at the best of times and even richer when a gift of the Earth becomes apparent. An unusual stone stands out from the others surrounding it, a piece of fallen, decaying, wood perhaps has an eye capturing form, or maybe a bone fragment triggers the imagination to ‘see’ some fantastic possibility. The immense stimulation of our everyday, minute to minute, experiences abound in potential to the observer. An unusual flower, the curled form of an autumn’s fallen leaf, a shell no longer required by it’s original occupant, even the paint peeling off an old hoarding, all may trigger an inner recognition of potential.

Ariel (1996) below is an 8” x 8” unique sculpture, a creative art piece hand carved from a well worn beach cobble of particularly hard, metamorphosed greywacke. The soft sheen glowing off the dressed surface is typical of a hard, fine grained stone. When wading in rivers and walking beaches the ‘hard stones’ will always stand out, beckoning to be picked up. Being harder they will wear with natural abrasion to show a finer, almost glossed surface and the absence of flaws or cracks indicate a specimen worthy of greater attention.

The jade sculpture below is unique in the arm penetrating through the body of the design itself. Stimulated from the weather bleached, pelvic structure of a long deceased opossum. The subtle treasure offered after a peaceful day’s meditation in the folds of hills covered with rich native flora. 1975


Unique Sculptures in Greywacky Beach Pebbles.

An aesthetically valued material doesn’t always have dictate an artists selection to represent an intriguing, example of creative, sculptural form. All manner of materials are available to the discerning. Such basic, home ingredients as flour, water and yesterday’s discarded newspapers are the basis of paper mache from which incredible, unique sculptures may be created. A multitude of alternative media surround us and are also freely available, even the humble stone picked up off a beach or river bed can become an item of intrigue and mystery.

With patience and a little imagination the stone itself suggests the unique form within. The revealed “Explorer” above is such as the stone dictated. Some six inches in length and a ‘found object’ picked up during a leisurely, afternoon stroll along a local beach. Eye catching, glowing on the wet sand, not far below the high water mark. Nothing other than a common water worn, greywacke pebble. Composed of dust settled eons ago, subsequently compressed and baked in geologic upheavals, creating a metamorphosed substance harder than steel.

Another found pebble, almost perfectly circular, is sensitively carved to show the enigmatic 'Moonchild' hidden below the surface. Now partially concealed behind a sterling silver mask, increasing the sense of fascination and mystery!

An essence of life emanating from clearly defined features skillfully carved into the hard stone.

Another of Donn's unique sculptures capturing a benign intelligence gazing deep into the observer.


Owen Mapp. Unique Sculpture, Wood & Bone God Stick

Here is an excellent, contemporary interpretation of a God Stick. The traditional purpose these esoteric figures fulfilled was to act as a guardian, protect the possessors from antagonistic energies and act as a focus for communication with past ancestors who had passed over into the spirit realm.

This piece is approximately 24" in height and richly imbedded with sybolism which is complimented by geneology markings. A detailed description of this creative sculpture is beyond the scope of this entry and for those who may wish to persue any embellishment to the story, they are advised to contact Owen Mapp himself.

Doug Marsden. Small figure in Mask

The two and a half inch, boxwood, sculpture of a figure crouching inside a large mask is an exemplemary illustration of the emotive powers able to be achieved in this intimate format.

Who could deny being touched by the integral whimsy Doug has so masterfully imbued in this wonderful, emblematic caricature?
Doug Marsden is another reclusive New Zealand artist who carries an international reputation earned by the superb quality of his skill as a creator and carver of netsuke.

Netsuke carving is the traditional Japanese art of exquisite miniature sculpture with the utilitarian aspect of being the end cord toggle of pouches and inro boxes fitted so as secure the container on the waist sash of traditional Japanese attire. For those interested in learning more of this fascinating subject concerning netsuke, information is available at these locations http://www.thecarvingpath.com/ or http://www.netsuke.org/

Doug Marsden is one of New Zealand’s most accomplished netsuke carvers who has traveled and exhibited with numerous international netsuke events.

This awesome little carving by Doug is only 4.5cm high (1.75in.) Carved from traditional boxwood with inlays of mother of pearl and horn.

There has been a regular representation of New Zealand netsuke carvers at the prestigious, annual exhibition of contemporary netsuke at the Seibu store Japan.
Two of whom are in the collection of the late Prince Takamodo. A copy of this enlightened collection can be obtained here http://www.paragonbook.com/html/browsesubj/fullcitation.cfm?item=27766
Contemporary Netsuke: The H.I.H. Prince Takamado Collection

When initially exploring netsuke it immediately becomes very apparent the subject matter for these exquisite, miniature sculptures is boundless. From absolute realism to the simplest of abstract forms. From myths and legends figures of wild fancy evolve under the master’s patient skill.
War and death, love and hate, sensuous entwining in eroticism, monsters and heroes even the light and whimsical, suggesting subtle humor in a multitude of forms.
The images below are an excellent illustration of the capricious nature Doug’s mastery is able to achieve and impart a sense of joy and pleasure from simple materials. Boxwood for the emerging figure and antler for the other two.

The height of these pieces is approximately 2”. Capturing expression and emotion at this minute scale is no mean feat requiring great vision and control. Not only of tools and material but also incredible patience.

Exquisite treasures, lovingly formed from the earth’s bounty have always held strong fascination for the discerning collector. Numerous materials have become classic media to which artists from all cultures and ages are drawn. All have their own characteristics from the malleable qualities of metals to the extremely hard virtues of crystals. Diamond, the hardest natural material, carbon based, grows in a cubic structure and the next in line of hardness is corundum, recognised as ruby and sapphire, forms in a six sided crystal. From these two minerals a multitude of gemstones descend in order of hardness. In gemological terms a hard stone is one which is harder than steel. Many minerals are encompassed by this term but none better known than nephrite jade. Of all gem minerals jade is the most revered by all Neolithic cultures. For good reason, it is the toughest gemstone there is with a shock factor far exceeding diamond. Shock being measured by resistance to fracture through controlled impact. Due to the inherent toughness jade was the closest Neolithic man had to steel and incredible artifacts remain to this day of highly skilled works in this ‘Stone of the Heavens’. An esteemed value the old Chinese believed. Even today jade commands a well earned respect from those whom it draws near. No more so than those who are called to honor the stone by revealing the forms within. An empathetic approach, recognizing the inherent qualities and values of any given specimen and following the ‘feel’ of the stone, produces contemporary artifacts of unparalleled beauty and intrigue.

The above example shows front and back of a contemporary, nephrite sculpture. Clearly illustrating the inherent beauty revealed by allowing the stone to lead. In this instance the design has evolved, using 18ct gold and diamonds to represent stamen and pistels. Subtlety blending the perceived precious materials into a complimentary, neck sculpture.
Materials from the organic kingdom of flora and fauna also have their part in this intrigue of intrinsically appreciated media, providing substances for man’s desire to create items of outstanding beauty. Of this realm, Ivory has to take first choice. Many species of animals grow ivory and Neolithic mans’ global appreciation of this material is evident in the abundant artifacts to be seen in Museums around the world. Today these animals are in threat of extinction due to unsustainable demand for their highly prized tusks.
However this little treatise is in honor of the Earth’s bounties and ivory is certainly one of these. Sick and old animals are culled for the greater good, unknown reasons cause whales to beach themselves. Such may be the source for those of integrity because these are the true gifts of nature, into the hands of the deserving.