Peter Mitchell is a master carver of beautiful, high quality jewellery and gifts, based in Blenheim.
Peter is NZ born, and of Māori, European and Pitcairn descent. After sustaining a back injury that meant he could no longer continue to work in the building trade, Peter decided to focus all of his energy into carving, a passion he has had since childhood. Peter has now been carving for over 24 years. Bone carving is a traditional NZ Māori craft, and it is on this culture that Peters’ contemporary designs are based.
Working primarily with beef bone, Peter creates pieces that depict various aspects of Māori culture. Many of Peters’ carvings depict dolphins, whale tails and fishhooks. Another key element in the designs is the Koru, which is designed to resemble the new fern frond as it opens. The majority of his carvings are for use as pendants, but he also creates beautiful framed pieces for the home.
Peter also works with whale bone, which is highly valued not only because of its beauty as a medium and its cultural and historical significance, but also its scarcity. Current laws against hunting whales mean that Māori bone-carvers who carve in whale bone must use ancient or pre-existing supplies, or bones from whales that have recently beached.
Peters’ carvings have been featured in galleries and museums throughout New Zealand for 22 years. He has also had his work exhibited in National Trust Galleries in the UK.