‘I want to live as an artist. Carving is my passion. Carving hard stone opens a new world of expression.’
Although he had wood and soft stone carving experience, Thomas Stoll, from Hannover, Germany, wanted to build his skills and learn how to use new materials and techniques. He knew New Zealand had a strong carving tradition and after an online search found just the course he was looking for: TPP’s Diploma in Jade and Hard Stone Carving.
‘I’d only ever done carving by hand before,’ he says, ‘but to carve hard stone you have to learn how to use the machinery and drills. It’s quite a different process.’ It might sound complicated but when design, technical knowledge and skills combine, the results can be truly spectacular. ‘Every stone has a unique structure and you have to learn how to work in harmony with the material you’re using and adapt your design to work with the character of the stone to create each piece.’ As well as focusing on the creative process, Thomas appreciates that the programme also teaches business skills.
From the outset Thomas found it straightforward to deal with TPP and says everyone has been welcoming and helpful. He’s chosen to live in the student hostel, Tai Poutini Village, because ‘it’s right by the campus. I’ve got a nice room and there’s plenty of space. It’s good.’
Thomas is well on the way to making his passion his career, to achieving his dream to work and live as an artist.