Specialist pounamu (jade) carver, Niki Nepia, is famed for both his traditional art forms and contemporary work. The highly skilled artist, fluent in traditional Maori style, has studied, worked and exhibited in China under various master carvers and is accomplished in different Chinese art forms. Constantly pushing his creativity and technical ability, Niki produces work that is innovative, unique and impressively complex.
His designs are influenced by the natural surroundings of the Urewera Ranges, in the heart of the North Island, where he grew up. From a young age Niki incorporated aspects of nature and free-form design in his work, which remains true to the spiritual side of his culture and its art forms.
He can be seen at work in his Puawai Jade studio and showroom in Eat Streat, Rotorua. The gallery offers a range of high-end gold and silver jewellery and adornment, carvings and sculpture produced by Niki and other highly experienced New Zealand artists. New designs feature each month and orders are taken for custom-designed product.
Dedicated to quality, Puawai Jade is locally owned and takes its name from a deeply significant family name, Puawai, which means “blossom”.