Gordon at Design Festa

Gordon at Tokyo Design Festa

About Gordon Wells


Gordon grew up on a farm in a farming valley named Kowhitirangi 35 km south and inland from Hokitika on the West Coast of the South Island New Zealand. Kowhitirangi has the Southern Alps as a beautiful backdrop. Gordon's parents ran a dry stock farm and from 1976 operated the Koiterangi Lime Company. During his early years 1978 onwards Gordon spent allot of time in the bush and mountains, trapping Possums and looking for Nepthrite Jade or Greenstone. During those days when tramping in the mountains, if you stopped for rest you were able to see and hear many native birds. Sadly since 1995 until today this is no longer the case. Department of Conservation who are the very people protecting the birds are killing them with deadly 1080 POISON dropped everywhere by helicopter to eradicate the Possum and more recently Rats and Stoats with the Battle for the Birds program. Many New Zealander's have become very concerned about the Mass Ecocide, as they become better informed about what is going on in our Beautiful Forests. But! Sadly! Still the Deadly 1080 POISON drops are happening all over NZ's National Parks, Bush, Forests, Waterways and Mountains.  To Learn More and see videos about Poisoning Paradise of New Zealand, and hear many testimonies from biologists, scientists, doctors, farmers, trout fishermen, whitbaiters, hunters, campers and trampers.


Gordon at Tokyo Design Festa
About Gordon Wells


Gordon grew up on a farm in a farming valley named Kowhitirangi 35 km south and inland from Hokitika on the West Coast of the South Island New Zealand. Kowhitirangi has the Southern Alps as a beautiful backdrop. Gordon's parents ran a dry stock farm and from 1976 operated the Koiterangi Lime Company. During his early years 1978 onwards Gordon spent allot of time in the bush and mountains, trapping Possums and looking for Nepthrite Jade or Greenstone. During those days when tramping in the mountains, if you stopped for rest you were able to see and hear many native birds. Sadly since 1995 until today this is no longer the case. Department of Conservation who are the very people protecting the birds are killing them with deadly 1080 POISON dropped everywhere by helicopter to eradicate the Possum and more recently Rats and Stoats with the Battle for the Birds program. Many New Zealander's have become very concerned about the Mass Ecocide, as they become better informed about what is going on in our Beautiful Forests. But! Sadly! Still the Deadly 1080 POISON drops are happening all over NZ's National Parks, Bush, Forests, Waterways and Mountains.  To Learn More and see videos about Poisoning Paradise of New Zealand, and hear many testimonies from biologists, scientists, doctors, farmers, trout fishermen, whitbaiters, hunters, campers and trampers.





Kowhitirangi




Gordon & Mindy - Hokitika 1995



Jade Career Begins


Gordon began his jade carving career at age 16 yrs in December 1978, after his Art teacher Mrs Alison Sanson sugguested he try Jade Carving as a job choice during the school holidays, she arranged the job at West Coast Jade Company. Mrs Sanson stated If Gordon didn't like the job he could always return to Westland High School and study English so he could pass School Certificate. Well Gordon liked working with jade and he dropped out of school, and continued learning jade carving and then working for West Coast Jade Company in Hokitika until the factory and shop closed down around the middle of 1984.
Since that time Gordon has worked at many different jobs. From working on sheep and dairy farms to stone masonary and decorative stonework. Rock quarry work driving 20 ton excavators or diggers and breaking up rock. A retail furniture store delivery and salesperson, to insurance and financial planner agent. In 1987 Gordon started carving from his own studio in the garage part time, while still working at his day job. Gordon set up his first outlet at Willow Crafts Gallery in Hari Hari South Westland and he still sell carvings there today. In 1994 Gordon joined the Hokitika Co-operative Craft Gallery, by this time he was carving full time and selling in shops all over New Zealand.
Around June 1996 Gordon diversified and created a new venture, combining jade carving, a backpackers hostel and a jade carving experience for backpacker tourists. By 2002 Gordon had learned computers and started building his own websites and selling his jade carvings and sculptures to the world online.

Gordon in 1995 with Mindy

Gordon & Mindy - Hokitika 1995

Jade Career Begins



Gordon began his jade carving career at age 16 yrs in December 1978, after his Art teacher Mrs Alison Sanson sugguested he try Jade Carving as a job choice during the school holidays, she arranged the job at West Coast Jade Company. Mrs Sanson stated If Gordon didn't like the job he could always return to Westland High School and study English so he could pass School Certificate. Well Gordon liked working with jade and he dropped out of school, and continued learning jade carving and then working for West Coast Jade Company in Hokitika until the factory and shop closed down around the middle of 1984.
Since that time Gordon has worked at many different jobs. From working on sheep and dairy farms to stone masonary and decorative stonework. Rock quarry work driving 20 ton excavators or diggers and breaking up rock. A retail furniture store delivery and salesperson, to insurance and financial planner agent. In 1987 Gordon started carving from his own studio in the garage part time, while still working at his day job. Gordon set up his first outlet at Willow Crafts Gallery in Hari Hari South Westland and he still sell carvings there today. In 1994 Gordon joined the Hokitika Co-operative Craft Gallery, by this time he was carving full time and selling in shops all over New Zealand.
Around June 1996 Gordon diversified and created a new venture, combining jade carving, a backpackers hostel and a jade carving experience for backpacker tourists. By 2002 Gordon had learned computers and started building his own websites and selling his jade carvings and sculptures to the world online.

Gordon & Mindy - Hokitika Gorge 2007

Lifestyle Change


Around May 2008 Gordon had closed up the Just Jade Experience in Hokitika and sold Drifting Sands Backpackers as it took away to much of his creative time and he started carving free form ideas and sculptures. In June 2008 Gordon moved to Japan to the city of Yoshikawa-shi in the Saitama Prefecture about 40km from Tokyo. Within a couple of weeks Gordon had a portable jade carving workshop and created alot of jade carvings outside, by winter of that year the workshop was set up in the garage. About the middle of March 2009 the purpose built Hair Salon and Jade Carving Workshop was completed and all carving equipment was moved into the new sound proof studio. Gordon carves jade for about 8 months a year, and spends about 4 months a year in New Zealand working in a Limestone Quarry operating excavators and other machinery. Also during this time Gordon goes Claybird Shooting, Fishing, Tramping and Photographing in the beautiful mountains and forests near Kowhitirangi.
Gordon & Mindy - Hokitika Gorge 2007


Lifestyle Change


Around May 2008 Gordon had closed up the Just Jade Experience in Hokitika and sold Drifting Sands Backpackers as it took away to much of his creative time and he started carving free form ideas and sculptures. In June 2008 Gordon moved to Japan to the city of Yoshikawa-shi in the Saitama Prefecture about 40km from Tokyo. Within a couple of weeks Gordon had a portable jade carving workshop and created alot of jade carvings outside, by winter of that year the workshop was set up in the garage. About the middle of March 2009 the purpose built Hair Salon and Jade Carving Workshop was completed and all carving equipment was moved into the new sound proof studio. Gordon carves jade for about 8 months a year, and spends about 4 months a year in New Zealand working in a Limestone Quarry operating excavators and other machinery. Also during this time Gordon goes Claybird Shooting, Fishing, Tramping and Photographing in the beautiful mountains and forests near Kowhitirangi.




Quarry Work @ Kowhitirangi 2017


Gordon & Yoshikawa Mayor 2009

Exhibitions in Japan


On 15 November 2009 Gordon had his first public Jade Exhibition in Japan at the Yoshikawa-shi Annual Festival, 1000's of people from Yoshikawa-shi and nearby cities were able to view his lastest works carved from his new Studio. Gordon presented this sculpture to the 2009 Mayor of Yoshikawa City Mr Tanesige Tobari. The design is the Yoshikawa City symbol of the Catfish that lives in the Nakagawa River and the Edogawa River which flow past Yoshikawa-shi. This symbol of Yoshikawa-shi can be found all over the city on the street water inspection and manhole covers. Gordon joined the Yoshikawa-shi Festival each November for 6 years, then he started to find other big events in other cities to exhibit Jade Carvings.


Gordon & Yoshikawa Mayor


Exhibitions in Japan


On 15 November 2009 Gordon had his first public Jade Exhibition in Japan at the Yoshikawa-shi Annual Festival, 1000's of people from Yoshikawa-shi and nearby cities were able to view his lastest works carved from his new Studio. Gordon presented this sculpture to the 2009 Mayor of Yoshikawa City Mr Tanesige Tobari. The design is the Yoshikawa City symbol of the Catfish that lives in the Nakagawa River and the Edogawa River which flow past Yoshikawa-shi. This symbol of Yoshikawa-shi can be found all over the city on the street water inspection and manhole covers. Gordon joined the Yoshikawa-shi Festival each November for 6 years, then he started to find other big events in other cities to exhibit Jade Carvings.

Gordon & Tomohiro @ Design Festa 2014

Design Festa to Mineral Shows


In November 2012 Gordon joined the Design Festa at Big Sight in Tokyo with his friend Takahito Hanawa from Otaru Hokkaido. Design Festa is the biggest Art Craft event held in Japan, Hanawa san and Gordon booth shared and were able to sell many jade carvings and deer antler artworks over the 2 day event. Since then until now Gordon has exhibited Jade Carvings booth sharing with Tomohiro Toyoshima a friend whom he first met at the Design Festa, Tomohiro san is a silver smith and works with turquoise. Millions of Japanese and tourists visit the Design Festa 2 day event. Gordon held his first ever International Exhibition 23-26th January 2013 at the 24th International Jewellery Tokyo Show held at Tokyo Big Sight. Alot of Japanese and overseas buyers visited our stand and purchased carvings and sculptures during the 5 days of the show.
In September 2013 Gordon joined the Yokohama Mineral Festa held in the Big Red Brick Building on the Yokohama Waterfront. The Mineral Festa was a new way to exhibit Jade Carvings and also jade stones in the rough. The people visiting the show were mainly mineral and gem collectors, and Just Jade just fitted right in. From 2013 until now Gordon has exhibited his jade carvings, tumbled stones, sculptures and the Jade Experience Workshop has been a real hit during the 3 days of each Mineral Festa.

Gordon & Tomohiro @ Design Festa


Design Festa - Mineral Shows


In November 2012 Gordon joined the Design Festa at Big Sight in Tokyo with his friend Takahito Hanawa from Otaru Hokkaido. Design Festa is the biggest Art Craft event held in Japan, Hanawa san and Gordon booth shared and were able to sell many jade carvings and deer antler artworks over the 2 day event. Since then until now Gordon has exhibited Jade Carvings booth sharing with Tomohiro Toyoshima a friend whom he first met at the Design Festa, Tomohiro san is a silver smith and works with turquoise. Millions of Japanese and tourists visit the Design Festa 2 day event. Gordon held his first ever International Exhibition 23-26th January 2013 at the 24th International Jewellery Tokyo Show held at Tokyo Big Sight. Alot of Japanese and overseas buyers visited our stand and purchased carvings and sculptures during the 5 days of the show.
In September 2013 Gordon joined the Yokohama Mineral Festa held in the Big Red Brick Building on the Yokohama Waterfront. The Mineral Festa was a new way to exhibit Jade Carvings and also jade stones in the rough. The people visiting the show were mainly mineral and gem collectors, and Just Jade just fitted right in. From 2013 until now Gordon has exhibited his jade carvings, tumbled stones, sculptures and the Jade Experience Workshop has been a real hit during the 3 days of each Mineral Festa.

Tokyo Mineral Show 2017

Tokyo Mineral Show


In December 2016 after 8 years of trying to get display space at the Tokyo Mineral Show, Gordon finally was able to secure a cancelation booth, at very short notice of only 3 days before the show. The Tokyo Mineral Show is held at Sunshine City Ikebukuro Tokyo is one of the most popular Mineral Gem Stone events on the mineral collectors calendar each year. The Mineral Show starts on midday Wednesday which is setup day, on the Thursday is special invited buyers day, and from Friday to Monday is open to the general public. The exhibitors come from all over the world and just about anything that is stone, rock, crystal, mineral or fossil is on display here. Japanese and overseas mineral merchants, dealers and collectors will browse the 460 or so booths to find that something new, rare, different or special. Just Jade first time at this event was so successful, that Gordon was already booking next years event before the end of the show. The 26th Tokyo Mineral Show was held on 29th November to 4th December 2017, Just Jade's booth was in very same location 347, which is a very good idea as many of our previous customers came back to visit. Gordon had on display more rough stone, 1000s of tumbled pebbles, beach polished Agates from New Zealand, many beautiful Jade sculptures and carvings. During the days of the Show Gordon sold alot of tumbled stones, rough jade, agates, many jade carvings and a sculpture Catfish Namazu on carved wooden base.

Tokyo Mineral Show 2017


Tokyo Mineral Show


In December 2016 after 8 years of trying to get display space at the Tokyo Mineral Show, Gordon finally was able to secure a cancelation booth, at very short notice of only 3 days before the show. The Tokyo Mineral Show is held at Sunshine City Ikebukuro Tokyo is one of the most popular Mineral Gem Stone events on the mineral collectors calendar each year. The Mineral Show starts on midday Wednesday which is setup day, on the Thursday is special invited buyers day, and from Friday to Monday is open to the general public. The exhibitors come from all over the world and just about anything that is stone, rock, crystal, mineral or fossil is on display here. Japanese and overseas mineral merchants, dealers and collectors will browse the 460 or so booths to find that something new, rare, different or special. Just Jade first time at this event was so successful, that Gordon was already booking next years event before the end of the show. The 26th Tokyo Mineral Show was held on 29th November to 4th December 2017, Just Jade's booth was in very same location 347, which is a very good idea as many of our previous customers came back to visit. Gordon had on display more rough stone, 1000s of tumbled pebbles, beach polished Agates from New Zealand, many beautiful Jade sculptures and carvings. During the days of the Show Gordon sold alot of tumbled stones, rough jade, agates, many jade carvings and a sculpture Catfish Namazu on carved wooden base.



Tokyo Mineral Show December 2017


The Morepork

The Creative Mind


Recently Gordon has had a wee dabble with deer antler and deer antler buttons. Gordon gets these from a friends deer farm in Kowhitirangi New Zealand, the buttons are what is left on the stag after the velvet harvest and these still grow a bit and then will later drop off sometime in September of each year. During January and February 2018 Gordon was commissioned to carve a Morepork a native New Zealand owl, from a very large Red Stag antler button. The process involved alot of hard and stinky work grinding down the rough shape, then the time comsuming part started, the actual Moreporks detail. Most Morepork ever photographed are always facing the camera, so after long hours seaching for side profiles and back profiles to be able to do justice to the head and beak. Then came the detail of feathers, it took about 2 days to carve the feathers on both wings, a further day or 2 to detail the head and beak, and a futher couple of days to complete detail the legs and chest. The eyes are taxidemist owl eyes and they had to be flown in from the United Kingdom. Then came the paint job with special artist paints and finally after about 90 hours work spread over a month, Peko the Morepork was completed. Then in March 2018 Peko the Morepork began a very long flight to New Zealand to her new owner. Deer buttons can be fun to carve but I got in lots trouble with the Boss as I managed to stink out the hair salon, during the roughing down stage of carving the owl. The smell of bone being carved takes a bit of getting used too.

The Morepork


The Creative Mind


Recently Gordon has had a wee dabble with deer antler and deer antler buttons. Gordon gets these from a friends deer farm in Kowhitirangi New Zealand, the buttons are what is left on the stag after the velvet harvest and these still grow a bit and then will later drop off sometime in September of each year. During January and February 2018 Gordon was commissioned to carve a Morepork a native New Zealand owl, from a very large Red Stag antler button. The process involved alot of hard and stinky work grinding down the rough shape, then the time comsuming part started, the actual Moreporks detail. Most Morepork ever photographed are always facing the camera, so after long hours seaching for side profiles and back profiles to be able to do justice to the head and beak. Then came the detail of feathers, it took about 2 days to carve the feathers on both wings, a further day or 2 to detail the head and beak, and a futher couple of days to complete detail the legs and chest. The eyes are taxidemist owl eyes and they had to be flown in from the United Kingdom. Then came the paint job with special artist paints and finally after about 90 hours work spread over a month, Peko the Morepork was completed. Then in March 2018 Peko the Morepork began a very long flight to New Zealand to her new owner. Deer buttons can be fun to carve but I got in lots trouble with the Boss as I managed to stink out the hair salon, during the roughing down stage of carving the owl. The smell of bone being carved takes a bit of getting used too.


The Mammoth

2017 Mammoth Commission


During 2017 Gordon was commissioned to carve a Mammoth, which wasn't an easy task as there are no real photos of them, only artists impressions. Gordon had to spend hours seaching the internet googling mammoths, after finding hundreds of different impressions, the Mammoth was finally carved from South Westland stone and the tusks were carved from deer antler from Hokkaido. After the tusks were installed the carving transformed from looking like a Elephant to being like a Mammoth. Eventually the Mammoth went to its new home in San Francisco.
Whales are creatures Gordon enjoys carving most, especially whale tails and waves. Gordon also enjoy carving Dolphins and also twists and other traditional NZ designs. Driftwood features allot with my sculptures, but in Japan Gordon will be carving wooden bases for his new sculptures, as beach driftwood can't be found in Saitama. Gordon prefers to hand polish each carving or sculpture is, which brings the stone to life although it is very time consuming and slow. Every jade boulder has within it carvings that have been hidden, locked away for millions of years, and it takes an artist or sculptor like Gordon to finally free them for all to see.


The Mammoth


2017 Mammoth Commission


During 2017 Gordon was commissioned to carve a Mammoth, which wasn't an easy task as there are no real photos of them, only artists impressions. Gordon had to spend hours seaching the internet googling mammoths, after finding hundreds of different impressions, the Mammoth was finally carved from South Westland stone and the tusks were carved from deer antler from Hokkaido. After the tusks were installed the carving transformed from looking like a Elephant to being like a Mammoth. Eventually the Mammoth went to its new home in San Francisco.
Whales are creatures Gordon enjoys carving most, especially whale tails and waves. Gordon also enjoy carving Dolphins and also twists and other traditional NZ designs. Driftwood features allot with my sculptures, but in Japan Gordon will be carving wooden bases for his new sculptures, as beach driftwood can't be found in Saitama. Gordon prefers to hand polish each carving or sculpture is, which brings the stone to life although it is very time consuming and slow. Every jade boulder has within it carvings that have been hidden, locked away for millions of years, and it takes an artist or sculptor like Gordon to finally free them for all to see.