HOW WERE YOU FIRST INTRODUCED TO THIS TYPE OF WORK AND WHAT DID YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR EARLY EXPLORATION OF IT?
I have always had a bit of an interest and fascination with wood and wood carving since renovating the oldest standing house in Wellington. In my late teens and as a family we spent a lot of time in Ohakune where native wood was easy to come by. It’s been in the last 10 years or so that I’ve developed this into, as my wife would call it, “an obsession”.
HOW HAS YOUR WORK CHANGED AND DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS? WHAT FACTORS DO YOU THINK AFFECTED THIS?
Initially I milled and hollowed out nice native timber into bowls then I did wood turning but felt that, for me, I wanted to do something a bit more individual so now I mainly focus on carving abstract shapes and statues. I like to produce art with a practical use such as vases, tables, seats and three dimensional pictures as well as some sculptural pieces which make a bit of a statement. I like to show off the wood’s unique textures, grains and colours.
The principal motivation behind my work is to encourage other people to appreciate native New Zealand timbers. I use discarded swamp kauri tree stumps from Clevedon and native trees that have fallen over around the Piha area. As I can mill the timber, I have an advantage in being able to source and mill special pieces of wood.
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHERE YOU WORK FROM? WHAT DO YOU FIND SPECIAL ABOUT LIVING OUT WEST?
I work from my garage in North Piha and exhibit at the West Coast Gallery in Piha. Waitakere has a high concentration of varied artists, it is a place where you can get inspiration from nature and a place that is not too busy which allows you to be able to think and develop your ideas.
WHAT CAN VISITORS EXPECT TO SEE WHEN THEY POP BY YOUR STUDIO DURING OPEN STUDIOS WAITAKERE?
I will be working from the School House, with other artists, which is behind the West Coast Gallery in Piha. I will be carving some new pieces and will be available to chat about the work when you drop by. As a lot of my work involves the use of power tools and chainsaws both which make a bit of noise and mess so I will be just doing some carving with chisels.
NAME YOUR TOP 5 SECRET SPOTS YOU LIKE TO VISIT IN THE WAITAKERE RANGES?
Whites Beach and Anawatha Beach for their wild seclusion and unusual rock formations.
North Piha Beach to surf and fish. The Gap and the Keyhole because they are cool. The Coffin because it’s a secluded fun place where you can explore and jump into the cold pools.