Personalised Works of Art

My people are an oral people and a lot of our history has been handed down orally or through the beautiful works of art inspired by the patterns of nature that tell our stories. These symbols would depict a person’s whakapapa or genealogy, their history, their language, their stories. koru hand painted rock

17 years ago I started creating in a way that I had never created before. I would paint on to rocks, I would look at the surface of a rock and I would see the design and I would paint. I would paint stories from the rocks themselves and I would paint stories from the people who had shared them with me. Someone would tell me their story and I would paint it. koru hand painted rocks

Often the forms would come out in a mandala type symbol, a circular shape expanding from the centre. And so I decided that through this art form, through this gift I would be able to give something to others.

The process for creating these art works is very involved and once I begin and always while I’m working, I am holding that person’s story in my mind and giving it my full attention.

When painting the art work, I usually begin with a spiral. It is a ritual that I have always used and feel that it is right for me and the art works that I am creating. I use a water based acrylic paint and once brush is in hand I am designing as I go.

Once the design is finished, the painting is sealed and then set aside to dry.

This natural resource we call “kohatu” or “rock”. But these are not just any rocks and our conceptual native language gives real meaning to the words. The word “koha” means “gift” or “to gift” and the word “tu” gives emphasis or importance to that gift. So they are very special gifts.

Where I come from on the West Coast of the North Island of Aotearoa NZ we have many beaches covered in this beautiful volcanic rock that comes from our majestic spiritual mountain Taranaki.

The rocks are gathered with the utmost respect for the sea and land from which they come and carry the “mauri” or energy of the land and so before I even work with them, they have a story of their own. Some people say that certain rocks and stones have healing powers and I believe this is what drew me to painting on rocks many years ago. 

This ancient volcanic rock can be small enough to hold in the palm of your hand or even in your pocket. Or it can be big enough to place in a special place in the garden or home. You choose your size. This is one of my favourite products because as mentioned before this ancient rock carries the “mauri” or “energy” of the land and can be very healing.

The rocks are sourced from a very special place on the West Coast of the North Island NZ where our mountain Taranaki stands. This is where it all started – my visionary art that express people’s stories on a rock and now I would like to offer this opportunity to you. And as the name says, it is a “special gift” given with love.

All personalised stones are $120 NZD each + p&p to anywhere in the world.

If you have any questions send me a message here or through the contact page at the top of this website.



  1. Kia ora Jo, Lyn Jarman and Maurz Taane showed me the link to you. What an amazing woman you are. I am inspired by your words, your love, stories of your whanau and your special gifts. I just LOVE your painted kohatu and the spirit of you that has been put into them. Well done. Keep up your wonderful work. Aroha
    Wendy Cornish

    1. Kiaora Wendy, lovely to connect with you here and thank-you! I am grateful for these gifts and feel so blessed to be able to share them with others. Thanks for stopping by – arohanui, Jo 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *