Hand Painted Rocks

As a child, the patterns of nature fascinated me. I would be amazed and energised by the unfolding of a fern frond. Could anything be more perfect? So these shapes were firmly imprinted and I appreciate their beauty and simplicity. They inspire me…

The koru is a strong feature in my work. Because it is derived from nature it tells my stories and it tells my ancestors’ stories. The koru form is healing and it is balance; it’s shape flows in and flows out with soft lines, often I am lost in it…

I have been painting koru within my rock designs for 14 years now and in my travels around the world I have realised that there are many cultures who use this symbol in their own art. So these koru, although derived from my connection to nature, are also universal symbols.

Over the years my Hand Painted Rocks have changed in their form and design. No longer are they just Koru but whatever patterns and shapes reveal themselves in the moment. In saying this, my paintings on rocks have always been intuitive and have meaning for those who come in contact with them.


The Māori word for rock is kohatu. But these are not just any rocks and our conceptual Māori language gives real meaning to the word. The word ‘koha’ means ‘gift’ or ‘to gift’ and the word ‘tū’ gives emphasis or importance to the gift. So for me, they are special gifts. The rocks that I paint are gathered from Taranaki, Aotearoa NZ and are volcanic. They carry the energy or mauri of the land from which they come and have their own stories as well as the stories in the designs that I place upon them.


On Dec 31st 2010 I decided that I would paint a rock every day for 2011. If I did this, I would be nurturing my creativity and I would be able to share these special gifts, every day, with the world. What seemed like a simple exercise has become more than this. The rocks and their stories have been connecting me to people and places all around the world. They have been the inspiration for the sharing of more stories by those who connect with them and many of the rocks are spread all around the world. You can follow my rock a day project here

May 2012

It is time to revamp this website again! The Rock a Day project was a HUGE success and I am currently putting a book together with all 365 rocks, photos and stories due to be released within three months. It was such an amazing project and I received more from this project than I ever thought possible! The power of connection and story were revealed throughout the year and I have made lifetime friends, some who I’ve met, some who I may never meet but none the less whose lives have been touched in some way by the rocks. So now onwards and upwards to the next project! Watch this space for how to purchase “Kohatu – 365 stones” and stay updated for future products and stories.

Jo 🙂


  1. would you consider a custom order for a Kirtan artist? We are thinking of ordering rocks for a music campaign. They would have to be very similar in size.

    thank you!

    1. Kiaora Keli, sorry for the late reply, I’ve just returned to the country. Yes I do custom orders. Please tell me what you have in mind by sending an email to korurocks@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thankyou 😊

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