The creative process will be on show and designs will come to life up close at a symposium.

The 2018 Rotorua Sculpture Symposium begins today as sculptors from all over converge on Rotorua.

Located outside The Arts Village, 16 sculptors will spend 10 days carving and sculpting pieces relating to this year's symposium theme Ngā Wai o Rotorua – The Waters of Rotorua.

The sculptors choose the material they carve with from Oamaru stone, Taranaki andesite or macrocarpa, with some combining several of the materials into their final design.

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The community are invited to watch as large boulders and logs are transformed into unique sculptures which will be placed in the Sulphur Lake Sculpture Trail for people to enjoy for years to come.

Rotorua sculptor Jamie Pickernell says this will be his third time taking part in the symposium.

He says he is looking forward to working on an idea for himself, since a lot of his work is commission-based for clients.

Jamie says doing researching and deciding what materials you are going to use is exciting too.

"The other thing is getting together with like-minded sculptors, having a great time and some laughs."

He says it is a chance for sculptors to share their skills and enjoy the camaraderie, because it can be quite a lonely occupation.

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Jamie encourages locals to check the symposium out at the start, halfway, and at the end to see the creative process.

"It's nice for us to have people come and chat and see what we're doing.

"It's not often it is that visible in the community and it's a great time to showcase the creative art of sculpture and what it can do for the community."

He thanks everyone behind the scenes who makes the symposium possible.

On Sunday November 25 tools are laid down and judging begins for the Supreme Award winner who receives $10,000.

The winning piece becomes a permanent part of Rotorua's public art collection.

For more information on the symposium finalists go to www.creativerotorua.org.nz.