When he first began carving in 1977 John Edgar looked to Chinese and Maori traditions for inspiration. From this he developed a personal style of minimalist works: pendants, medallions and small sculptures with an elegance of form and exquisitely fine detail.
He has worked with pounamu, but an awareness of its scarcity redirected him to less precious materials such as argillite, basalt and greywacke. Over the years many of his works have made reference to geological as well as social concerns.
Edgar first became known for his pendants and medallions. A simple stone acquired a magical quality when he layered the centre with alternating slices of glass - a concept he later developed to a very large scale.
Though continuing to make jewellery and smaller stone pieces, Edgar has become known as a sculptor of large slabs of stone. The transparency of the glass, reflecting and refracting light, contrasted with the solidity of the stone creates a striking contrast.
Edgar says of his material: 'Most of the uncut stones that I have collected are far too unique for me to ever consider carving. They are the true forms, the true surfaces to which I aspire.'
Edgar has been exhibiting since 1979. His work can be found in many important private and public collections, including a large sculptural commission that he made for the Auckland War Memorial Museum.