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Maori Cultural Centre Te Koha Gallery and Soul Seeker Studio
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The carve your own studio started in a container beside our gallery, Te Koha Gallery 4 years ago and from working with one grinder and one station we have progressed to a workshop at the back of the gallery with 6 work stations and a full time tutor. Many people of all nationalities and age have created their own personalised carving, either as a pendant, bracelet, touchstone or ornament for themselves or as that very special gift. We explain why working the jade and other stones by hand is an old age tradition handed down from our ancestors to put your individual energy and wairua (spirit) into the carving making it uniquely personal. No skill base is required. It is a warm and friendly environment, flexible with times and available 7 days a week. We only use New Zealand stone from our rivers and people choose which piece of stone they would like to use for their carving. This is often the most important part of the carving process and can inspire people with their design using the natural colours of the stone to enhance. We explain about the stone, its origins and properties. The most important stone is the Nephrite Jade, known here in New Zealand as Greenstone. We have all varieties of the jade here on offer for carvers. Equally important in our culture, the unique Aotea Stone is available as well. Aotea (NZ Kyanite) can only be sourced from one river in the world and that is located in South Westland. Melding blue kyanite, green fuschite and white quartz has proved a very, very popular choice. Tangi-wai (Bowenite) , a cousin to jade, is a translucent stone, used in the olden days for earrings. Rhodonite – a semi precious gemstone, very pink with black inclusions. Found in Central Otago. Both traditional and contemporary designs are available, with help from the tutor people chose or create a design which is then transferred to their stone. Then the process of carving begins from start to finish. Our facebook page and Trip Advisor page are a tribute to how popular this activity is and we have so much positive and happy feedback. Many photos are on our facebook page, page name – Te Koha Gallery. Te Koha Gallery opened 5 years ago. We are 100% New Zealand products and have featured and have some of New Zealands best carvers work in the gallery. It is family owned and operated by Michael and Jannene Goodall, longtime residents of Franz Josef Glacier. With help from employees Will in the carving studio and Chinese speaking Duidui the shop is operated 7 days a week. Michael is off Manipoto/Tainui descent and happy to share his maori heritage with visitors. People are able to look in the workshop and can often be shown the raw stone from which a piece they are buying has been carved from or may request a commission piece for themselves. Biographies are available with the other carver work. Wooden carvings in NZ Kauri along with traditional whalebone, bone are on offer. The greenstone carvings are 100% NZ jade and carved by well known artists. As well as the jade jewellery, jewellery is available in the other pounamu stones being – Bowenite, Aotea, Serpentine and Rhodonite. Along with other treasures and souvenirs for sale, there are beautiful jade sculptures for the connoisseur or collector to purchase
Useful Information: Baby buggy parking, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Canberra, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A little gem”
Reviewed 7 April 2014

A beautiful gallery under the shadow of the magnificent Franz Josef Glazier. The Maori craft was beautiful and original. The owner and staff were helpful, honest and informative.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Joan E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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78 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Franz Josef, New Zealand
2 reviews
“Very cool, educational, hands on and friendly!”
Reviewed 18 March 2014

The folks at Te Koha are amazing. I just stopped to look at the carvings and art. I ended up spend the next 2 evenings with them creating my own piece! They provide the tools and share their experience, you use your hands and imagination to create something amazing yourself. Mike and Jan are very cool and helpfully, as well as the other local artists hanging out there. I strongly recommend going here. Just look at the wonderful art, say hello, you might get a lot more from it than just a soveneir!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank gavingladsjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Truly amazing, Must see”
Reviewed 9 March 2014

My wife and I went to the Puawai/Maori cultural experience show Franz Josef, New Zealand in February 2014. What an amazing experience, very friendly and entertaining people. We got to take part in the show and after we got to chat and ask questions. The next day while walking around Franz Josef we bumped into the performers and still was very friendly and chatted for a while. Really great show, informative and fun and made some friends along the way. Thanks guys see you again next year

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Carl D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Iowa City, IA
Level 6 Contributor
504 reviews
141 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
“The best art and crafts in town”
Reviewed 17 February 2014

Beautiful work, large carvings, lovely jewelry, some of the best we have seen and clearly the most authentic in Franz Josef.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank GailCheryl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waterlooville
1 review
“Wood carving”
Reviewed 13 February 2014 via mobile

Did not realise until there that jade and wood carving were available. Didn't get a chance to do jade carving unfortunately but the wood carving lesson was a great introduction,friendly staff very helpful, explained well create your own designs and assistance when required, great activity something a bit different great value for money

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Jsm103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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