3 July 2023

Fostering motivation through carving course

Seven people on Community Work sentence in Otago District have taken part in the first Work and Living Skills (WLS) Oamaru stone workshop.

The session held in Dunedin was run by master stone carver Dave Broughton of Kohatu Designs*, who supported participants to learn basic carving skills, and the meaning behind the carvings, as they create their own work.

The programme was arranged by Senior Community Work Supervisor Oamaru/Dunedin Tracey Anne Webber who saw the benefits this could offer participants.

“Opportunities like this are about giving our people a chance to reflect on themselves, to bring out their creative side, to see the work that is involved in their creation, and to take something away with them to share with their whānau,” she says. “There is something incredibly therapeutic about working with your hands and a natural product.”

Tracey says all the WLS attendees were very motivated by their experience. "They were all amazed by their creations and proud to share their new skills with whānau,” she says. “Community Work has a role in promoting our values, and this was a way we can give manaaki to our people."

Two participants have expressed an interest in continuing with carving, developing a newfound interest in the art and the experience of working with the stone.

The Otago team is looking at running another course in Dunedin, and potentially a course in Timaru and will make this available to people on other sentences as well as Community Work.

*Kohatu Designs is a home based, carved stone art gallery in Dunedin, using Oamaru Stone (a hard compact limestone quarried near Oamaru) as the main median for carving.

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