Kerry Thompson has now been carving for 25 years. He has established his position as the leading Maori artist working in the bone medium, and he has developed an immediately recognizable personal style in his work that can include his signature two-tone staining process, which sets his work apart. He works in a wide variety of materials including cattle bone, whale bone, ivory, mother of pearl, jade, wood, silver, and semi precious stones.
Having attended a diploma course in Maori Design at Waiariki Polytechnic, he also learned from Hepi Maxwell, Rex Christianson, and other artists working in the similar media. In 1992 he earned a position as a jade tutor for the Whangaroa Trust in Kaeo. Later, in 1994, through a grant from Te Waka Toi, he became a full time artist working primarily in jade and bone.