Back so quick!!!

Day’s of miracles aren’t over yet eh!:)

One important thing I forgot in my last post which I must give a shout out about is……

We are now the proud owners of a Robust Sweet 16 lathe. A VERY big thanks to Brent & Deb at Robust for making this possible:):)

Due to an extremely tight workshop we opted for the short bed SW16 with the removable step bed. The standard configuration suits 90% of what we do and fits the space available perfectly. And when I need to go longer or larger diameter it’s very easy and quick to unbolt the removable bed section for what ever I want to do. I didn’t have room for a tilt away tailstock but the tailstock holder that bolts on the end of the lathes is perfect for my needs and saves bending down all the way to the floor.

I got a great range of toolrests which are all a pleasure to use and the best extra Brent talked me into was a smaller banjo which is much easier to move around for smaller projects. The standard big banjo is great to for the very large projects.

I also opted for the 2hp 220v motor, it was a good choice! The lathe runs smooth and quiet and has plenty of power.

We’ve had this lathe nearly a year now and I must say is is equal to, or better than, any other lathe of it’s size in the world. The only thing I would like to see better is the operation of the indexing screw which is a little time consuming to put in and out but that is a very minor thing. Everything else has met, or exceeded, my expectations and it is a pleasure to turn on. Also from a safety aspect it is one of the few lathes that, even with a shiny polished bed, when you lock the banjo and tailstock, they stay locked!!!

It’s not a cheap lathe, but it’s worth every penny and after the last 3 years on a Jet 1220 with belt speed change I’m in 7th heaven! And above all it’s made right here in the US and Rebust’s sales and service are excellent! If you’re looking to upgrade you won’t go wrong with one of their products. Thanks again Brent & Deb:)

Yes….that’s me….wearing shoes!!!!:( But it was February!

ahhhhh…..that’s better…..and no shoes full of shavings:)

ka kite ano (catch ya later)


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I’m back!!

Actually I was never away, just been terribly slack at keeping up with my website. As you all know by now the computer is not my forte and I still haven’t figured out how to update a lot of the old info on here, but at least I remember how to post some stuff for those that are interested:)

So here’s the latest news and some pics……

Firstly and most importantly…. this summer I got my Green Card after my 3 year work visa ran out and am now a permanent US resident. It’s been a long and expensive road and such a relief to get it. Now Melissa, who undertook to do all the paperwork, something she expressed regret with many times over the last 3 years, can now breath easy and concentrate on her own work for the next 10 years.

Our next best news is…we have a Whare Iti (little house)!!!! For the last year and a half we have been building a, 24′ x 12′ x 11ft high at the front, tiny house. Not on wheels tho, built on a skid frame, 3x 24′ 6×6 cedar beams so we can winch it onto a low loader and move it when get some land. We have built it on Melissa’s sister’s land for now, about 20mins Nth of Asheville.

Whare Iti

Our summer travels finished around Sept and spent 3 weeks solid living in our little pup tent, wiring/hooking up power. putting up gib board (sheet rock) and ceiling paneling so we could move in before the cold…got it nice and cozy now and soooooo good to have our own roof over our heads again:):) Still a lot of finishing to do, woodburner install next before it gets too cold, a little space heater is keeping it warm for now, insulated it real well and all windows doors double glazed.

Some build pics….

We also had a crazy busy summer on the road teaching, wonderful week class’s at Peter’s Valley School of Craft, and Marc Adams School of Woodworking .  A great visit to the Ohio Valley Woodturners Guild. As well as as demonstrating for the AAW Symposium in Portland OR followed by a 3 days class for BARN, a new school on Bainbridge Is in WA and a demo for the North west Woodturners. As well as AAW we also demonstrated for ‘Turning Southern Style’ in Dalton GA, and most recently the Virginia Symposium in Fisherville VA. We also got to squeeze in a couple of collaborative events, something very dear to my heart, Echo Lake in PA and Emma Lake in Nth Saskatchewan, and while up that way we also demonstrated at the Saskatoon Symposium and a 3 day class at the Black Forest Timber Co in Calgary

Many many thanks to all who invited us and hosted us on our travels. The best bit is lots of opportunities to catch up friends in the woodturning world….and to make new ones:)

Next year is looking to be just as busy. Kicking of with the Florida Symposium in early February followed by a week class at another new school, the Florida School of Woodwork sounds like a great school and promises to be a fun week. If you want to escape the winter chill come join us in Tampa:)

Straight after that we head to NZ, it’ll have been nearly four years since I’ve been back and am very excited to see fgamily and friends there again, and show Melissa a bit more of my homeland with a 10 day tour of the Sth Is.

First up there though will be a little work with a demo/class for the Nth Shore Woodturners Guild. While there we will also be taking part in CollaboratioNZ  I hear there are still a few spots available at this event so if you want to experience a most amazing week of fun and creativity drop them a line.

Got a few other events we are still organising details of for next summer here. AAW Symp will be in Raleigh NC next year which is just down the road so all going well we’ll be there.

Then we have a West Coast tour lined up starting with the Silicon Valley Woodturners, then up to Seattle for another class at BARN then a demo and 4 days of hands on classes for the Olympia Woodturning Symposium, can’t find any link for this one yet. We’ll be driving over for this so if anyone wants us to stop by for a demo/class on the way we’d be happy to do so.

After the NW it’s straight back home for the Mid-Atlantic Symposium, keep and eye on this link for upcoming 2019 info. Then down the coast for a demo/class for the Wilmington Woodturners, looking forward to a return visit with these wonderful folks.

In between all this crazy travel and house building we are still managing a fair bit of time in our workshop at working on some production orders right now for Xmas.

Cocktail Muddlers are our biggest selling item. And still making one off pieces for shows and commissions, here’s a few pics of recent work.

Some collaborative sculptures with Melissa….

Some of Melissa’s work…..

And some of mine….

The other thing that has taken off for me here is the woodburners stuff. I’m now making high power burners, handpieces and tips. Thanks to all who have made purchases, still haven’t firgured out how to sell over my website but if you are interested in anything drop me a line at .

John Jordan is also retailing them for us at trade shows and it’s all available on his website

And MDI Woodcarvers Supply in Maine are stocking the handpieces

Many thanks to John & Vicki, and Wayne at MDI for your support:)

Well I’ve down down with the flu for a week or two, having trouble shaking the last of it, and hence the reason I’ve had time to catch up on a LOT of overdue email and I feel much better for getting this done too, so I’m gonna tuck up now and rest a bit.

But While I’m here, as there’s a good chance it might be another year or two before another update, haha, I’ll take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for the upcoming festive season. Stay warm, or cool you Sthern hemisphere’ers and keep safe:)

Kindest regards

Graeme & Melissa

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Some News

Well it seems like 3 postings in a week got me feeling I deserved a bit of a rest, and it’s been a long one, the only problem is the longer between writing the more there is to write about!!

So obviously I survived the rigors of winter here in NC, wasn’t as bad as I expected in all, and a coupla fun days tobogganing got me almost looking forward to another winter, now it’s cooling down I’m not so sure. especially as it has been a fabulous summer!

After some months full on in the workshop we managed to meet the deadline for our first exhibition together at Surface Gallery which opened in early June. Many thanks to all for coming and supporting us at the opening:)

Soon after that we hit the road for 7 weeks teaching and conferences. First stop was Chicago, arriving early enough to spend a few days with Glenn & Andrea-Lee McMurray at their Lake Beulah cottage in Wisconsin. They race C-class yachts on the lake and had recently commissioned me to make a wall sculpture for their cottage which represented the competitiveness and craziness of yacht racing.

I turned spinnaker forms out of Cherry and then went all Pollock throwing paint at them, it’s not as easy as it looks to get the right balance of colours and patterns, Mel was a big help:)

And here’s the result….

During our stay I got to crew with Glenn for an evening race. Been many years since I’ve raced and we didn’t do too bad with Glenn steering us into 5th place:)

and yes…there were more than 5 boats in the race!! Mel also got to hop on board and steer the ship on the way home also and I think she’s hooked on sail power, maybe there is a yacht in our future:):)

Many thanks for a wonderful time Glenn & Andrea:):):)

Then it was on to demonstrate at the ‘Turn on Chicago’ symposium which was a fun and relaxed event. Nice to catch up with lots of friends from previous visits to the Chicago area. Then we had five days to get to Calgary to teach at Black Forest Wood Co heading through Sth Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. First stop was the Sth Dakota Badlands which are incredible!

Some amazing wildlife and lots of great hiking, of course we wore appropriate footwear!

Then we headed for the Black Hills to check out Custer state Park and Mt Rushmore. More spectacular scenery and LOTS of bison!

Got caught up in a nasty hail storm and now the poor little Corolla has lots of tiny little dents in the roof!:( Decided to give the camping a miss that night and found a cute (cheap!) motel in downtown Custer.

The next day we checked out the wild west town of Deadwood where horses have been replaced with Harleys. We were there there a week before the Sturgess bike rally, one of the biggest in the US, hate to think how many cows had to die for all the leather we saw that day!! More interesting was Lead, which used to be a gold mining town with a huge pit mine with miles of underground shafts beneath it which is now the site of a Sanford laboratory doing Neutrino research deep underground where experiments are not exposed to solar radiation. Interesting stuff!!

Next stop was Devil’s Tower, Wyoming. Where ‘Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind’ was filmed. Was amazing to camp out under it and watch the colours change as the sun hit it in the morning. Didn’t see any ET’s but Mel found this little critter… ‘Earl’ our Prairie Dog Companion:)

Then drove up through Montana and crossed the boarder into Canada, the home of dinosaurs and grain elevators:):) No worries at the border as Mel is a Canadian citizen:)

The class at Black Forest went well thanks to Terry & Brad & Co and a great bunch of students. Highlight of my Calgary experience was Terry taking us for ‘fish n chips’, nice fresh Halibut, oh how I miss nice fresh Snapper!!! Mel grew up in Canmore, near Banff, and still has lots of rellies in the area and we got to spend a few days after class visiting as many as we could and stayed a night in Canmore, a spectacular area! Mel’s Dad came to Canada from Switzerland in the late 1930′s and became quite a legendary mountain guide and photographer in the area . One of his best friends was ‘Kiwi’ Gallagher another legendary mountain guide in the Canadian Rockies

Then it was over the Rockies and down into BC to visit with more of Mel’s family and catch up with my friends Ted & Linda in Castlgar. Met Ted at a woodturning event in NZ over 20 years ago…my how time flies!! Had a nice coupla days relaxing, swimming and catching up:)

Then it was back across the border for work in Richland, Eastern Washington and a nice, albeit breif, stay with Ron & Vicki Gerton. Then final stop was Portland, OR for 3 weeks visiting friends, lots of laughs and gastronomic delights with Andy & Kay and playing with Andy in the workshop, me turning and him embellishing with his laser cutter, interesting possibilities here!

Then a demo/class for North West and Cascade woodturners, and and visit with Jim & Roberta Piper who took us on a beautiful hike on Mt Hood, well…. close to it, still a bit too much white stuff up there for my liking!!!

Then had a nice stay with Greg and Sandy Wilbur before we all headed to Dale Larson’s place for the Frogwood Collaboration which was a lot of fun and creativity as usual. Then it was 4 days of 10hr drives to get back to Asheville in time to repack the bags and head to Penland school to teach a week class.  Quite a summer!!!

Then we were back to the workshop working on pieces for the ‘Wabi Sabi’ exhibition at

After that Mel’s been a trooper in the office working on the nightmarish business of tax stuff, health insurance stuff and researching ‘Tiny House’ stuff which we are planning to start building in spring next year. While I’ve been working on pieces for

Kiokio Vessel

Pikopiko Vessel                          Ammonite Vessel                       Waitapu Vessel

Now we’re hunkering down for the winter, collecting wood/doors/windows for our spring build whilst Mel navigates the turbulent waters of building codes and other such stuff. And getting our ducks in a row for what’s looking like another busy summer traveling and teaching. we’re very excited to be teaching classes together at Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine and Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee as well as demos/class for clubs in Florida and Pittsburg or more to be determined but I think I’ve made up for a lack of postings for now…whew…and I better get back to work. We will post our full summer schedule soon and try to get the website calendar updated this time also!!

ka kite

Graeme & Mel

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3 postings in a week, days of miracles aren’t over eh! Getting so much more time now that I’m settled in Asheville with a nice cozy studio and not so much crazy travel like in the past.

Reason for this post is to share a very nice experience. Now I’m not much of a one for internet shopping and stuff but I just can’t just go to the shops here and get the things I used to get back in NZ so I’ve had to resort to the internet for some vital essentials, foremost being Vegemite..I know… it’s Australian, but NZ Marmite is impossible to get here even on the net:( With my stock running perilously low I found a reasonably cheap source of Vegemite on Amazon, supplied, at equally reasonable shipping cost, from          TK Logistics in the UK, well Wales to be exact! So I duly ordered a 4 pack of 220g jars which arrived in the mail in very short order:) However I was very sad to find on opening the box that the packaging hadn’t been quite up to snuff for such glass jars and one was pretty badly smashed:( Then I gave another jar up to a friends pleading eyes which left me only 2 jars:(

Knowing I would have to reorder before too much longer I wrote to the Sales Dept. at TK-L explaining the situation and suggesting they upgrade their packaging a little to avoid future disappointment. I got a very quick and nice response from Phil, the Company Director, thanking me for bringing this to their attention and offering to compensate me for my loss, which he amazingly stood by even after I mentioned the R (ugby) word!!!!!      Today I received 8 nice discounted jars of Vegemite, extremely well packed by Phil himself, and nestle-d..haha…among the packaging some yummy commonwealth choc treats that are equally impossible to get here:) THANK YOU Phil, it’s nice to get such great personal, and humorous:):) service in today’s impersonal, high speed, technological world.

So all you kiwi/aussie itinerants out there that are suffering withdrawal and need a fix of that yeasty, sludgy nectar of the gods check out  I will certainly be continuing to get my fix from them:)

ka kite ano….Graeme

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Latest Lamp

The ‘ Far Orbit Reflection Director’

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Kia ora Koutou

Kia ora Koutou,

day 2 of being snowed in here in Asheville NC, and yes….I’ve finally consigned my shorts and jandles to the back of the wardrobe:( We’ve had about 10″, not as bad as some places but bad enough if you have to go anywhere!

Certainly not a good day to invite friends for a BBQ or kick back on the deck loungers. As we knew it was coming we stocked up on vital supplies…beer…. and prepared to hunker down inside for a while. As you can see from the first pic we have a pretty steep drive so would be mad to even attempt to get out. But we have enjoyed, not sure that is quite the right word, some walks in the snow. Mel made a snow angel, I ‘politely’ declined the invitation to lie down in the freezing cold wet stuff.

I was mildly excited about the prospect of tobogganing this morning but when Mel’s toboggan immediately sank deep into the thick fluffy powder I soon lost interest!!  The birds are braver than me and are still visiting the bird feeder I made a few weeks ago, I’m missing the Piwakawaka, Kotare and especially the summer warbling of the Riroriro but the local woodpeckers, Titmice, Juncos and chickadees are making up for it:)

It’s been an eventful time since I moved here in May last year. A busy summer teaching, conferences, making stuff and I had a trip back to NZ in August for the final interview to get my 3 year work visa. Getting that turned out to be quite a saga but well worth it. We are very grateful to our dear friends for inviting us to care take their holiday home in Asheville. In October, thanks to the support of other good friends, who relinquished their right to the space, and other artists who went in to bat for us, we moved into our very own cozy studio at Grovewood Studios complete with a Kiwi flag off an American nuclear submarine… cheers Jacques!!!:)

It’s great to be part of such a wonderful active artist community and work right next door to Grovewood Gallery and the Grove Park Hotel which are amazing buildings! MANY THANKS to all those, too many to name here, who helped us get moved in, donated/loaned furnishings and equipment to get going, attended our opening and especially to friends who have commissioned/purchased work from us:)

Here’s some images of what Mel & I have been making lately…..

Commission Mel made for a client in Greensboro who collected some of her earliest pieces. Designed to cover a door window. Made from sculpted/painted/burned wood, mica, paper.

Very pagan, forest feel to this piece.

‘Rust & Bone’ – commission Mel made for a fellow woodworker friend who also works in the bone and joint medical field and has a soft spot for alligators!!!

‘Mamaku bowl’- which I turned/carved and Mel painted. Collection of Dale Larson.

‘Starfish Vessel- Where the Ocean Meets the Sea’    Collection of Al & Pris Klomparens.

This is my latest Sth Pacific Vessel and with this piece I collaborated with Asheville poet Michael C Boyco who wrote a beautiful poem to go with the piece. We have just collaborated on a second piece and now I am hoping to make a piece in response to one of his poems.

My latest venture is building ‘Steampunk’ lamps. I’ve made a few lamps over the years at collaborative conferences and now that I’m settled in Asheville, which has heaps of great junk yards and an avid ‘re-purposing’ community, I’m taking the time to build some for sale in Grovewood Gallery. Here’s the first one ’100 degrees in the shade’. Made from an old hospital temperature measuring instrument, an antique automotive trouble lamp and an antique lamp stand from Mel’s Grandaddy’s garage.

No 2….’Under Pressure!’ – found gauges, taps and gizmos all connected with copper tube and brass fittings.

No 3 is still under construction and is a little more ‘electronic’ in design. My previous life as a Radio Tech is resurfacing and I’m havin’ fun!:)

Now we’re looking forward to a busy summer with more teaching, especially excited to be teaching our first class together at Penland no woodturning in this class, we’ll concentrate on design and surface techniques applied to simple sculptural forms. We’re excited to have the assistance of Charlie Ryland for this class. We met Charlie when we were at Arrowmont last year and really liked his work and energy. The Penland catalog has just come out so if you want to join in the fun sign up quick.

We’ll also be doing some local demos/classes for Carolina Mountain Woodturners and Charlotte Woodturners .

And we’ll be getting our collaborative juices running by attending the Frogwood Collaboration in Portland OR in August as well as Echo Lake at the Bucks Co Community College in July.

I’ll also be demonstrating at the ‘Turn on Chicago’ symposium in June and taking part in 3 panel discussions at the AAW symposium inn Atlanta.

So that will keep us busy for this summer!

Exciting news for 2017 is the possibility of leading a 2-3 week tour off NZ taking in places of cultural and natural significance, going of the beaten path and visiting leading NZ wood artists. Karen Depew has got the ball rolling on this through CWA and will soon be calling for expressions of interest.

Well that’s about it for now, hope you all had a great festive season and best wishes from us both for the year ahead:)


Graeme & Mel

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Happy New Year!

Yeah…I know it’s a little late…as are most of my postings!!

I’ve been working on it since March so it might be a little disjointed but can’t get my mind around changing it all around now to make chronological sense..sorry!!!!

I’ll try and do better next time:)

The last year has been a bit of a blur so it’s hard to know where to start, guess I’ll have to take it back to April last year!!

At the start of my travels in April I taught a week class at Ecole Escoulen Jean-Francois Escoulen’s school in Aiguines. An incredible place to teach and/or take a class. After that I taught a week class at Lycee Moirans, a woodworking college in the Jura region West of Geneva. After That Jerome Blanc came to Moirans to pick me up and we drove to Geneva. This trip took us through rolling limestone hill country which inspired these pieces representing ammonite fossils found in that area.

The fossil details are carved with rotary tools and the surface texturing is done with a laser cutting techniques Jerome has developed.

Jerome’s wife Marta, who is a fabulous painter has taken my little boats to a new level!! And I even got to go sailing on Lac Lemans:):)

After Geneva I crossed the Atlantic to teach a class at Canyon Studios in Texas

Gene Colley has created a great little school in his back yard with a well set up lathe room and an incredible surface decoration room. The class went so well Gene booked me to teach another class there 29 May- 1 June this year.

While on the subject of teaching I also taught a class at Arrowmont again this year 26 July – 1 August which was lots of fun with a full class.

After Texas I spent a bit of time with Michael Mocho in Albuquerque and we drove together to Phoenix through some spectacular cactus country.

Unfortunately most of the spring flowers were done but managed to catch a few late bloomers:)

AAW in Phoenix was fantastic! As Clay Foster once said to me…’AAW…where we go to catch up with all our friends…and the ones we didn’t know we had’.  It was a smaller attendance than most so the pace was a lot more relaxed and it was easier to get around. And as I wasn’t demonstrating I had plenty of time to catch up with folks and check out the instant gallery and exhibits:) And I loved the weather…hot and dry:):)

After Phoenix I went to Buck’s Co Community College in PA for another dose of Echo Lake, my 3rd or 4th time at this event.

Always a lot of fun and inspiration and another chance to catch up and play with heaps of friends!

Then I had a wonderful couple of days R&R with Jeff & Donna Turi in Wilmington, Delaware before going on to Chicago to spend 10 days hanging out and working with Binh and family.

Then it was back to work in Glendale, CA staying with Bill & Sandy Loitz who also hosting my surface decoration workshop in their beautiful back yard, best workshop venue ever!

Was also there for a fun July 4th. We made flag cakes and watched fireworks over the Rosebowl:)

After CA it was up to Portland for a demo/workshop with Cascade Woodturners and nice stays with Andy Johnson-Laird & Kay Kitigawa and also Dale Larson before heading to Peter’s Valley, then on to Colorado for another nice stay with Tom & Melinda Wirsing while I did some demos for CO turning groups.

Then I went home for 6 days, starting to really doubt my sanity here, and back to France for the Breville Festival, and Geneva again for more collaborating with Jerome. Then on to Spain to demo at the Spanish Woodturning Conference in Xermade which was amazing, didn’t even know there was woodturning in Spain! We were hosted by Tito in a beautiful old farmhouse and fed far to well! I would definitely recommend a visit to Spain for this wonderful experience:)

Latest news is that I’m now living in Asheville, North Carolina, USA. Wow…hard to believe eh! Two weeks ago, after much ado, I finally got my 3 year 0-1 work visa firmly stamped (it’s a sticker actually but they still call it a visa stamp!!) in my passport.

MANY MANY thanks to all who wrote wonderful letters of recommendation for me. Also to my fabulous immigration attorney and ESPECIALLY to Melissa Engler who waded through the bureaucratic nightmare and paper chase!!! More on Melissa soon:):)

I’ve been thinking about a move to Asheville for some time, it’s a real hub for arts and crafts and has a wonderful climate. It’s also not tooooo far from the coast and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains are almost as good as my beach back home:) But property ties have kept me having to come back to NZ. Late last year my land finally sold and this totally freed me up.

The main decider in the move to Asheville now was meeting my new partner Melissa Engler at the Phoenix AAW symposium last year. She is a fabulous woodworker and a joy to be around. Melissa was working for Grovewood Gallery and on John Hill’s recommendation came to AAW with gallery owner Harry Patton to hunt down new artists to exhibit in the ‘Wood Art’ room she created at Grovewood.

Over the next couple of months we stayed in touch as Melissa signed up for a week class I was teaching at Peter’s Valley School of Craft , one of my favourite places to teach.  During that week we decided we were made for each other and started planning our next adventure and the possibility of a future together. Three weeks later Mel flew to join me in France for 10 days after I finished working at the Breville Wood Festival . We then visited Hubert Landri and Alain and Babette Mailland, merci beaucoup pour touts mes amis!:) While we were at Alain and Babette’s we started working on our first collaborative pieces.

Our styles and techniques are inspired by a shared love and concern for the natural world around us and an almost… ok…totally obsessive passion for pattern and texture. Initially we created objects that were familiar to us and passed them back and forth to work on and then played with how they might fit together.

‘Cevennes’ – Carved, painted, wood burning.

After France Melissa went home with plans to meet up with me again in Austria and demonstrate alongside me at the Magma ‘Open Doors’ and hopefully travel to Australia with me and then back to NZ for a few months. Meanwhile I went on to Geneva to stay and work with Jerome and Marta Blanc again.

Magma Open Doors was as much fun as usual!

This time they gave me a nice Titan to work on but the carving was a little tricky with the new seating position!!

Here’s a piece Melissa and I started together while demonstrating at Magma, currently being shown in Grovewood Gallery.

‘One more no more” – Turned, carved, painted, burnished wood.

Inspired again by our concern for endangered species and environments and a reflection of the fun time we shared together in Austria:)

After Austria we went on to Australia, only a coupla letters but a world apart! First stop was Melbourne to visit my youngest son Adrian for his birthday and catch up with friends then back to work in Queensland for workshops at Cooroora Institute and at Richard Vaughan’s Studio Both classes were a lot of fun, Melissa was assisting and throwing in her take on design and sculpting/painting techniques and if I do say so myself we make a pretty good team, Mel will be brushing up on her turning skills too so that we can co-teach a lot more in the future:):)

After the class at Richards we stayed on for another 9 days to work in his studio, thanks mate:):) It’s always hard finding time on the road to get stuff made.

‘Feral Pair’ – turned, carved, painted wood.

A combination of our different forms which then led to….


which then led to a major sculptural installation for a new house in Dalls, TX. Pics soon…

After Brisbane we headed home to go straight into the selling of my land and packing up my 50+ years of life and accumulation!!! And we only have a month to do it and find a new place to live and work on the commission which had to be completed, delivered and installed in Dallas at the beginning of Feb, no pressure eh!!

Land sale went smooth, Melissa and friends worked hard helping me pack and even harder convincing me to let go of a lot of treasure, you know, that might be useful one day stuff! Multiple trailer loads to friends/family/auction/dump…sigh….ah well, it’s only stuff right!

Found a nice workshop with a showroom front bit that we could lease for 6months and moved in 2 weeks before xmas. The apartment that we were going to move into upstairs fell through so we did the bohemian thing and lived in the showroom. Nice to roll outta bed and straight to work, also loved no yard work or building maintenance and being 2 minutes walk from downtown Whangarei:) The crew at The Quarry were wonderful letting us use their shower/laundry facilities and we had a fun time there in Jan co-teaching a week class at the Summer Do:) Thanks heaps Andrea, Catherine & Hayley…you rock!!!

Then it was head down in the workshop getting our commission done, lots of long days/nights. Fortunately our workshop had a nice big white wall that we could install on as we finished pieces. There are 16 individual pod forms, turned, carved, painted and burnished.

title – ‘Confluence’

Here’s a couple of process shots. The pods are turned spindles that are then split on the bandsaw and carved out. Melissa uses a bandsaw and sanding machine to cut and shape the inner form which, along with the pod interior, is chip carved and painted.

Then the inner form is captured inside the pod halves with screws from the back so that they could be dismantled easily and packed inside 2 suitcases, 1 large box and 2 carry on parcels. And we flew to Dallas with it all! We flew cattle class and the kind staff at Air NZ stashed our carry on bits safely up in the 1st class cabin for us…THANK YOU:)

Everything arrived with no damage…whew! Installation went great, specially with Mel’s great idea to create a template so we could quickly put it up just like it was in our workshop.

Clients were happy!:)

Then we went to Asheville for 2 weeks to meet Melissa’s family/friends and suss out a place to stay and work when we get there.

Only downside was SNOW!!!!! Had my first snow shoveling experience so we could get out of the place we were staying, not up there in my most memorable experience list but I guess I could get used to it!

Did have fun making snow kiwis and ice skating..sans skates!!!

But it did get old when my hands froze after 5 minutes!!!

Then it was home again for a week and straight into our CollaboratioNZ event which was so much fun, thanks to all the organizing committee for all your hard work, it was very nice just to be there for the fun for a change:)

Then we had to sell/pack up everything again and fit what we couldn’t bring to the US with us or part with into a 20′ container to be stored until……….?

Well this has turned into a bit of a novel…thanks again to all those who have hosted, arranged work, looked after, purchased artwork, and supported us in our new adventure:):)

Since coming to Asheville I have been amazed by the generosity and support of Mel’s family and friends in helping us getting established here, especially friends who have given a house to live in and caretake until we get on our feet and also to our mutual friend Dan Essig who has welcomed us into his studio in the Grovewood community to work until we find our own.

And thanks for the eggs David!!:)


Graeme & Melissa

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Hi all:) I hope you enjoyed a wonderful festive season and wish you all the best for the year ahead. I had a great summer, got lots of work done on my property and all going well I might have it sold this weekend, fingers crossed!! And I managed to get plenty of workshop time in, here’s some latest pieces;

‘Kava Bowl’ – NZ Pohutukawa, Acrylic Paint.

Available at ‘Considering the Kylix’ at the Sally D Francisco Gallery at Peters Valley School of Craft.

‘Kava Bowl’ – Australian Jarrah, Acrylic Paint.

Available at The Gallery, Helena Bay Hill

I’ve run out of time for more right now, if you are interested in my travel plans this year or taking a class or attending a demonstration check out the calendar which I have just updated with where I’ll be in the world and when and links. Many thanks to all those who have invited me and helped arrange my schedule, I’m looking forward to seeing you all:)



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Seasons Greetings:)

Greetings everyone,
So another year nearly done, wishing you all the very best for the festive season, peace, happiness and best wishes for the New Year!
It was a great year for me, lots of travel and teaching and making stuff.
My last trip went well, many thanks to my new travel agent for making my travel arrangements so easy, thanks Celia☺
First stop was UK for the European Wood Show , congratulations to Mike Hancock and his team at Classic Hand Tools , especially Joy, for organizing such a great event, again it was held at Cressing Temple in Essex, an amazing place!
Then after a few days R&R in Worchester with Mark & Karen Hancock, where I might just have had the best ‘pie ‘n’ a pint’ imaginable!,  it was on to Herzogenbuchsee in Switzerland to demonstrate for Magma Tools . Thanks to Marcus (the Titan designer) and Hans and all for looking after us so well and hosting this event. It was a lots of fun and always a pleasure to get to play on a magnificent Titan again!
And a special thanks To Martin Gschwandter from Magma for his support and friendship☺
Next year I’ll be back in Aurolzmunster for ‘Magma Open Doors 2014’, hope to see you there!
After Switzerland it was on to Chicago for a fabulous 2 weeks with Binh Pho and his wonderful family, kia ora e hoas☺☺.
So nice to take a break and hang out with a mate, make stuff and play on an incredible piece made by Derek Weidman with lots of surfaces for Binh and I to embellish and a bronze base made by Ron Gerton for SOFA Chicago.
Sadly I hear that this could be the last SOFA, such a shame but the gallery market is still pretty tough and many galleries just can’t afford the huge costs of being there.
Also Binh did some amazing surface work on another one of my Waka pieces.
Next stop was Kona, Hawaii for the Hawaiian Collaboration, so much fun is usually illegal!!! Organisers Tai Lake and Cliff Johns, superbly assisted by Tiffany, their families and the greater community put on an amazing event! Nice to catch up with fellow collab junkies from other events and to meet so many fantastic aspiring junkies!
Gotta mention Arlene who donated her fantastic culinary skills to keep us well fed on local delicacies, I’m still working on shedding the extra kg’s!! Maholo Arlene
This collab had the most amazing junk/treasure pile I have ever seen thanks to the support of a local antique dealer. This lead to the creation of ‘Keith’ the steampunk ‘Ether” lamp in collaboration with, Lyonel Grant, Farrel Ruppert and Henry Pomfret, cheers for the fun time guys:)

It was nice arriving a few days early to de jet-lag, help with set up and also get in a bit of beach time:)

Such a poser!!

Not quite used to so many people in the water tho, tricky getting through the crowd without wearing a boogie board!! Surf was too short and dumpy for body surfing so after a good faceplant I opted just to enjoy swimming and getting a dose of salt water which I miss heaps on the road.

Also enjoyed a few days after the event helping clean up and working on a carved ‘pig plate’ with the woodies for a local caterer, great to pick up some more carving skills from the ‘Master’ Lyonel Grant Kia ora e hoa:)

Then Ly, Tai, Farrel, Henry and I took a coupla days to explore the Island.

Major highlight was watching the sunrise from 14,00ft at he top of Mauna Kea

But man was it cold!!!

Well we didn’t actually go to the top of the mountain, in the background here, but close enough:)

Never been that high before and the landscape was amazing, what I imagine Mars would be like!

Lots of massive observatories.

And volcanic activity evident everywhere!

Also visited Mauna Loa which is still active, and the lava tubes and some fabulous forest and coastal environments.

We enjoyed a nice visit to Mydock Studio near Hilo, John is an incredible artist and pyrographer extraordinaire!!

Maholo to John and his wonderful wife for hosting us all:)

And for the amazing coastal tour culminating in an incredible snorkling experience amongst corals and tropical fish:)

And for steering us to the best burrito I have ever had!! If you are ever in Hilo check out this guy:):)

Home now and enjoying a nice summer, here’s a coupla pics of latest commissions:)

Carving for Friends son’s 21st birthday.

‘Starfish Vessel’ for a client in the US:)

Better go now!



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Good to be home:)

Greetings everyone
It was the first day of Spring yesterday here in NZ, it’s nice to be home and to catch up with family and friends.
My grandsons have grown heaps while I‘ve been away and got more good looking! Just a little biased☺

Casey & Jay

My latest trip was fabulous, many many thanks to all who helped arrange things and looked after me so well☺

It would take a novel to thank you all and describe the amazing places, and incredible events that I was blessed to experience on this trip and pictures tell a thousand words (actually I’ve been sitting stuck in writers block for the last ½ hr!!) So here’s some images from my trip.

Glen and his ’59′ Chevy..I want one!!

Spotted under a tree near New Bern, NC. Glen had to visit weekly for 6 months before the guy agreed to sell. Persistence pays off!!

Gotta be honest I’m a Chevy guy but I did admire the incredible restoration Byron did on his ’56′ Fordomatic.

Byron, the Wilmington Area Woodturners and their families ensured I had a very nice time in Wilmington:)

Wilmington butterfly house and gardens.

Art imitating life!!

Jean-Francois Escoulen’s new woodturning school in Aiguines, France.

Il est incroyable!!!

The school used to be a factory for making Boules. The men turned the spheres from Box root burls and the women would hammer nails all over them.

Week one was teaching a 3 day hands on turning/carving/burning class to 6 eager students while Greg Wilbur from Portland Oregon taught copper raising, I never cease to be amazing at what Greg can hammer out of a sheet of metal

Also teaching in the other woodturning studio were Pacsal Oudet, Hubert Landri and Jean-Dominique Denis. It was a great week of learning for us all.

The following week saw most of the student heading home and another 40 amazing makers arrive for the first French Collaboration which was a physical and visual feast of creativity and the MOST amazing cheeses I have ever tasted in my life!! Congratulations to all involved for making such a wonderful event happen, and thanks to all those who shared so much and pretended they understood my terrible french!!!

Jean-Pierre flame worker extraordinaire gets in a bit of ‘under the table’ work.

Huber Landri testing the power hammer.

Once the fun began my camera was soon forgotten!!

Then Greg and I enjoyed some R&R time with Alain & Babette & Noe at their home in the Cevennes area near Chamborigaud. A beautiful part of the world away from the maddening world:)

A little gardening, nice to get my feet in the dirt for a while, with all the travel I don’t get much gardening time in these days:(

Hunting the ellusive champignon!

A wonderful time, great company, fabulous food and photo

opportunities around every corner!

Then it was a brief stay in Marseilles with Greg before heading back to the US.

Marseilles is a beautiful port.

Lots of history and art and very multi-cultural.

Next stop was Arrowmont for a 2 weeks class with another group of wonderful students.

The first week Mark St Ledger added his magic to the mix and the second week Clay Foster came to play, many thanks my friends:)

I love teaching the 2 week classes as I get to see so much development in folks work:)

A highlight of the fortnight was the mini-golf extravaganza! We dusted off the old trophies we made for the inaugural event back in 2006 and with great support from the School and the Residents and sponsorship from Ripley’s a good time was had by all:)

Check out the Arrowmont blog for pics, it was so much fun!!!

Well I’ve run outta time for any more today, CollaboratioNZ AGM tonite, planning is well under wat for another exciting event down here in March 2015…watch this space!

Bye for now:)


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