Type:  Modern Art, Warren Warbrick

Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand



MoST ID: 6624

Pedestal Link: https://une.pedestal3d.com/r/sQ7K0aIFji

Model Author:  Mary-Anne Stone

This hafted nephrite adze, called a toki, is used by contemporary Maori woodcarver, Warren Warbrick.  Nephrite is a highly prized jade-like stone called pounamu by Maori people.

The adze in this model is one of several that Warren uses in his wood carving.  He made the stone adze from New Zealand nephrite (kahurangi pounamu) and resharpens the razor-sharp edge on a fine-grained whetstone.  The stone was recycled from a large toki poutangata and still retains the stone-drilled hafting hole, although the hole is not used in this utilitarian style of lashing.  The adze is lashed to the handle using harakeke cord (New Zealand flax, or Phormium tenax).  The cord is wrapped around the flat butt of the adze to serve as a backstop.  Warren demonstrates a similar hafting method in this video.  Warren soaks the tool before use, as the water causes the flax cord to swell, binding it more tightly to the adze and handle.  The adze is set so that a right-angle projected from the cutting edge intersects the handle about where he prefers to hold it during use—in this case, close to the handle’s end.

Warren Warbrick is a contemporary Maori woodcarver and musician based in the North Island of  New Zealand.  Warren and his wife Virginia—as Toi Warbrick—work together to fuse Maori and Pakeha artistry for education and performance.  Warrick is from the Rangitane iwi (tribe), whose rohe (traditional territory) surrounds the city of Palmerston North.

Warren began woodcarving using traditional stone tools at the age of 12, and his work is now held in major museum collections around the world.  He was mentored by Rangitane elders about history, genealogy, and Maori traditions and philosophy.  Warren was engaged as an exhibition officer at Te Manawa Museum, and there he began a long association with Maori carver and artist John Bevan Ford.   He is one of about 100 living Maori artists entitled to use the Toi Iho trademark. Warren says ‘. . . it’s nice to be able to share [our culture] because it builds relationships and can break down barriers about where and who we are as Maori.’