I found a rotten old stump of what I think is matai, while hunting in a steep, heavily forested gully. Too steep for loggers, even in the rock hard days of tweed, leather and steam power. Giant rimu drip to the ferny floor, allowing sunlight, in pools, to gather. Stray beams illuminate the paper flakes of kotukutuku bark, bright orange, all around.
I worked the mossy wee stump back and forth until it heaved onto my shoulder, wet and heavy. I hefted it home and scrubbed, cleaned and cut it into three pieces.This,the top of the stump and most hollow section, excited me most.
A carver I know kindly gave me some pounamu. This sliver wanted to be round, and illuminated. It was obvious which object it wanted to live with and they spent just a couple of days on the window sill before I set to work.