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Planting the seed to change

Words and Images by Tobey Hughes

Aaronsstones is a local greenstone carving business that Aaron Greaves runs out of his studio
in Hastings. Aaron was taught to carve by his mentor Sam Wilkinson while he was still at Karamu High school. Sam invited him to look over his workshop and Aaron quickly began to work for Sam as often as he could using what ever he could find from his offcut bin to practice his carving. For Aaron carving became a full-time career in 2016. His first claim to fame was in 2012 when he was commissioned to carve 29 pendants for the American executives flying in for the premiere. He carved 14 in a hook design for the men and another 14 in an adze type pendant with a koru engraved onto them. And for the CEO he got a Taiaha head pendant. He made all of these with 11 day’s notice while still having to complete other commissions.

Although the piece he is working on now isn’t for the Hollywood bigs he’s currently working on his favourite piece ever which is a Lady Auburn design. Aaron is a local success story who built himself from the ground up to become an incredible carver. Recently Aaron gave back to the community by working with two young kids teaching them about the final sanding process and Pounamu.

Over the last couple of years he has also been running wananga through corrections, working with young men on home detention through to groups of youth and older men serving out much longer sentences. Aaron says while the answer to changing these patterns won't be found in one day of carving he has witnessed the idea of showing what can happen when one dedicates time and effort which can plant seeds to bring about a change in perception.