We live near Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands, Northland, in the North Island of New Zealand. It is a popular area with both overseas and domestic tourists, attracted by the subtropical climate and lovely coastline. Avocados, oranges and kiwifruit now grow in the many orchards in the region, but before the arrival of horticulture and the Europeans, Northland was home to thousands of acres of kauri trees.
Extracting the kauri wood directly from farmland that was formerly low lying Kauri forest, or from piles of stumps already excavated by farmers, Neville turns kauri bowls and kauri platters using his lathe, woodturning- and wood-forming tools, and sandpaper. To finish off these unique kauri gifts he uses quality oils and waxes.
Neville’s first experience of woodturning was in the mid 1970’s when, as a teenager, he bought his first lathe - his favourite tool at that time being the “60 grit gouge” (the good old sandpaper). Around 10 years ago Neville’s interest in woodturning grew when he became a member of the Northland Woodturning Club, and took private tuition from highly-regarded Whangarei woodturning tutor Shane Hewitt. A year later, with growing piles of swamp kauri in the back yard, Neville took up the woodturning full time.
We sell at the Old Packhouse Market every Saturday in Kerikeri, and have a range of our work there. We also have items in Waitangi National Trust Shop in Waitangi, and Helena Bay Gallery. As well as swamp kauri we also have a range of locally-made kitchen textiles at the Packhouse Market, including double handed oven gloves and towels and greetings cards featuring our own images of Northland.
Emma enjoys design work, painting and incorporating New Zealand’s natural objects into resin inlays, such as ferns, paua shell and kauri leaves. Some of her work is inspired by the colours and forms found in Maori art and design, others simply enhance the natural beauty of the wood. She particularly enjoys working with paua, a shell with an incredible range of beautiful colours.