Brian was first introduced to the stone of heaven when he opened a jade store for his family in Juneau, Alaska. He had no real understanding of this magical material (geological name “nephrite”). As the days progressed, however, the allure of the stone captivated him, and he found myself ordering books on the subject to learn more. He couldn’t get enough information, and, to this day, he remains fascinated by the legends and lore of jade around the world. He found the reverence for this stone, and the time and efforts the peoples put into jade many thousands of years ago, to be awe inspiring.
Brian bought his first 'Dremel' tool while in Juneau, and a few diamond tip burrs (necessary for carving this extremely tough material). He sat at his kitchen table, through the long hours of the Alaskan midnight sun, carving these little pieces, feeling them out with personal curiosity. Staggered by the stone’s resilience yet pleased by its texture. The random arrangement of the microcrystalline matrix of Nephrite jade is the reason why the stone is the toughest natural material on the planet.
After Brian's first kitchen table experiments, he found a great teacher in Deborah Wilson, a wonderful person and artist, who had the ability to coax a design from him, and teach the techniques required to accomplish it. He also found a great friend and inspiration in Kevin Campbell, another great BC artist who apprenticed in New Zealand. There were no creative boundaries in their tee-pee sessions, ancient Maori designs fused with Northwest coast life. His artwork led Brian into the archetypal language of tribal art.
In 2007, Brian founded Pagoda Stone as his professional vehicle, and began teaching his own students. Pagoda Stone is now one of the foremost studios and training centres in BC, and his work has been critically acclaimed around the world.
In 2013, Brian also founded The World Jade Symposium Association, a non-profit organisation with the aim of developing the jade community in BC and worldwide; fostering jade artists, and encouraging the ever increasing popularity of jade art. The WJSA works all year round on its objectives, and holds a triennial Symposium, bringing together jade artists from across the globe for a series of conference presentations, and an exhibition of sensational jade works; the event is open to the public, and attended by many highly respected academics, artists and jade industry professionals.
Brian continues to develop, both personally, as an artist, and in his efforts to bring the true potential of this magic stone to all.