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 www.escoulen.com 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 www.canyonstudios.org

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 www.arrowmont.org 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 www.melissaengler.com at the Phoenix AAW symposium last year. She is a fabulous woodworker and a joy to be around. Melissa was working for Grovewood Gallery www.grovewood.com 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 www.petersvalley.org , 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 www.breville.org/spip.php?rubrique95 . 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 www.magma-tools.de 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 www.cooroorainstitute.org and at Richard Vaughan’s Studio www.richardvaughan.com.au 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 www.quarryarts.org 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 www.collaborationz.co.nz 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 www.danielessig.com 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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

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:)



Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

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 www.europeanwoodworkingshow.eu , congratulations to Mike Hancock and his team at Classic Hand Tools www.classichandtools.com , 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 www.magma-tools.de . 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 www.wondersofwood.net 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 www.weidmanwoodsculpture.com with lots of surfaces for Binh and I to embellish and a bronze base made by Ron Gerton www.rongerton.com 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 www.lyonelgrant.com 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!



Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

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 www.idverre.net/baquere 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:)


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Arrowmont Summer Class

News update on my upcoming 2 week summer class  at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, www.arrowmont.org which is running June 30 – July 13.

I’m fortunate to have the assistance of two of the most wonderful guys I know:)

The first week by Mark St Leger www.markstleger.com and the second week by Clay Foster www.clayfoster.com . Both incredible makers and teachers!

If you want to come join in the fun and fireworks, and maybe some mini-golf madness, oh, and work some wood as well of course, just get hold of Arrowmont and sign up.

Cheers, Graeme:)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Currency of Birdsong

Hi everyone,

thought you might like to know about a great event happening at Cooroora Institue www.cooroorainstitute.org in Queensland, Australia.

The event is ‘The Currency of Birdsong’ and a wonderful concept. Sadly I won’t be able to attend the event due to work commitments in the US but have contributed to the event with my first bird carvings:)

Piwakawaka- Fantails

I’ve also been having fun with some kitchen utensils:)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

New Pics

Here’s some pics of a coupla new pieces:)

‘Huwai (cockle) Vessel’ – Pohutukawa, Florida Crabwood, Copper, Metallic Thread, Acrylic Paint.

‘Reef Bowl’ – Swamp Kauri, Acrylic Paint.

Off to Wellington this weekend for demo/classes with the Wellington Woodturners, always nice to revisit my home town:) Thanks Hugh & John for pulling this together:)

Ka kite ano:)


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Latest Update

Greetings everyone:)

Again, another long time between posts sorry, still on dial-up at home so internet stuff has to wait for my town days and there just isn’t enough hours in town days any more!!

As usual, I’m always struggling to keep up with email, apologies to any I haven’t replied to yet, I’ll get there! And my old coal fired home computer is having hernias so even email for the next few weeks could be dodgy:( If anything was urgent please drop me a reminder or even better, give me call:)

So I was in Australia last time I wrote, I had a great time in West Aust at a collaborative gathering in Bunbury of about 30 woodworkers organized by Rob Jones and his dedicated team of helpers, especially Nancy Launer, thank you all for your hard work, hope I can come to another one sometime. Was great to catch up with folks I hadn’t seen for years.

As well as the Collab, Mark Sangar from UK and I did a demonstration for the local Perth Woodturners in lieu of a WAWA demo which sadly had to be cancelled. Hope you all enjoyed it as much as Mark and I did, the local boys tested Marks skill with a prime piece of WA wood which really should have had a Rockwell rating and the same effect on a tool edge as a lump of concrete, luckily I’ve demoed in Oz before and organized my own woodJ:) Mark did real good, I’m sure the beads of sweat were only due to the hot day!

Then it was down to Manjimup for me and another demo attended by various clubs in the SW area, thanks to all who travelled so far to attend the demo. Also to the organizers and especially Adrian who cooked up some yummy vegetarian food for me:)

Next stop Busselton for a coupla days R&R and catch up with friends from way back, Charlie & Laleen Broadbent. Charlie is a retired forestry worker and has an incredible knowledge of the local flora and fauna and best of all it was wildflower season, which I have heard so much about but had never seen, it was hard to walk more than 10m/hr, so many gorgeous flowers and stuff to see and photograph.

We also went to the coast to watch the whales cruising past and hang out with the Bob-Tailed Goannas, crazy lookin’ beasts!!

The coast line around that area is fantastic, beautiful beaches, great surf, oh yeah, the odd Great White or two but that’s part of the raw beauty:) Even found a beach with some Pohutukawas planted along the back of the beach, after 10 weeks on the road it made me very homesick!

Then I got a weekend to catch up with my cousin and her family and help Rob and Nilesh with some yard work that organizing collab had kept them from. The weather was awesome, hot and dry, was just thinking, I could live here, then the flies started up, just a few pesky little buggers but enough to make me realize I probably couldn’t take ‘fly season’ they just don’t give up!!

Then it was off to steamy Queensland for the workshop at Ross’s which I already mentioned, then a brief catch up with Richard before I headed down to Melbourne to visit with friends Steve & Ruth who took me on a quick tour of the Melbourne Art Gallery and then we entered Nirvana, otherwise know as Readings, Steve & Ruth’s book/music store in downtown Melbourne. Could of browsed there all day, got some great books for me and my grandson and also managed to order a book I’ve been hunting for a while ‘A Pirate of Exquisite Mind’ The life and times of William Dampier, Buccaneer, explorer and philosopher . Great book, amazing man!!

Highlight of the day had to be being barred from entry to a pub, which apparently has an amazing rooftop beer garden with views of the city, cos I was wearing jandles!! Our plea to be allowed one beer and a quick look at the view fell on deaf cauliflower ears and gave the bouncer, who had the IQ of a marble the perfect opportunity to flex his dumb muscle and behave downright obnoxiously, one place I won’t go back to, jandles or no jandles, and wouldn’t recommend anyone else go there either!! I don’t wanna sound mean but he was seriously not nice:(

After that we went for an overnight stay at Steve & Ruth’s beach house on the coast near Lorne, another awesome coast. Sadly this area was hit hard by terrible forest fires some years back but has risen from the ashes. A fabulous lunch at a local winery, and some very nice wine, on the way back to Melbourne completed a wonderful weekend, thanks Steve & Ruth:)

Early Nov and finally back home, so good to be back and catch up with family and friends but sooooo much work to catch up on my house and property, took weeks just to get the grass back under control!

We’ve had an amazing summer this year, this week we had our first serious rain since xmas, I could hear the ground slurping!! And best thing is I can have fires again:) Main effort over summer was tidying up property and buildings to sell, giving my workshop a big spring clean and starting to pack my STUFF for the big move. 3 huge trailer loads to the dump, 2 to the scrap yard and 2 big bonfires so far and still some to go! Have had the place on the market since xmas, a few tire kickers but no sale yet, property market is still very depressed here:( but place is looking and feeling so good now I don’t mind staying here a bit longer.

March was CollaboratioNZ time again, a fabulous event, weather couldn’t have been better, 8 days of fun, sun and creative mayhem, a huge thanks to the committee and helpers for all their hard work and all the wonderful makers that came from far and wide to share their skills and knowledge:)

Been full on in the workshop too, a large boat piece for an exhibition at the Whangarei Art Museum of Collab participants. Wood clad in copper plates, drilled and hammered 2000+ little copper nails!

Yeah I know, where’s the pics, as usual 2 all nighters and was applying the patina on the last morning for delivery to the museum in the afternoon, working to the deadline is great but doesn’t leave room for pics. Will take some and post at first opportunity:)

Here is pics of piece I just finished, ‘Huwai (cockle) Vessel’

Nope didn’t get those pics shot last nite either:( Will post more pics next time in town.

Biggest news in my life this year is the arrival of Jay Findlay Lammers, my daughter Carly and husband James’s first baby, he is so cute and I made him a bassinet, flat stuff!! Ok a coupla little turned bits too, was a fun project but not the instant gratification us woodturners are used to!! Lots of pics I could post here, haha!!

Days are getting shorter and a little chillier here now, gotta wear socks with my jandles:( on chilly mornings so almost time to fly Nth for the winter:) Heading away early June.

First stop is Wilmington, Nth Carolina for a demo and hands on class for the Wilmington Area Woodturners.

Then on to Augines, France to teach a 3-day master class at Jean-Francois Escoulen’s new School and attend the first French Collaboration organized by Alain Mailland and the hard working AFTAB team, I guess we may eat a little cheese and drink a little wine as well, I do love France:)

Then it’s back to the US for a 2-week class at Arrowmont, one of my favouritest places to teach, it’s great to see the progress students can achieve in a solid 2-week period. Sadly my usual assistant Keith Bundy will not be able to make it this time but I am honoured to have the assistance of Clay Foster. Clay & Jennifer made he trip down under for our collab and a little R&R around Northland:)

We have the numbers for the class to run but there’s still some spaces available, if you want a coupla weeks of fun and exploration of the endless possibilities in woodturning sign on upJ There will be no projects and no rules. You’ll get to play with whatever you want. Clay and I will try and cover all bases, if we haven’t done it before we’ll make it up as we goJ I’m also thinking of dusting off the old mini-golf trophies and getting the putter challenge going again, it was a lot of fun last time with the best putter award going to Mark St Ledger with a putter Tiger Woods would be proud of to have in is bag!!!

After Arrowmont it’s on to San Diego and Orange County for demos/workshops and the A 2 day Surface Class at the Beatrice Wood School in ……. Where Kevin Wallace is director. And then maybe on to Portland, OR for the Frogwood Collaborative gathering held at Dale Larson’s place, was so much fun last time:)

Home again mid-August for a month before heading to Europe for the Magma Open Doors which is having a break in Austria this year and being held in Switzerland. Then I have yet another collaborative gathering to attend in Kona, Hawaii organized by Tai Lake and Cliff Johns with help from many. I can smell that good Kona coffee already:)

And maybe a demo/workshop or two while I’m there, still tying down details for this trip

Oh oh, looks like I wrote a novel, that’s the trouble with too long between posts:(

Again, many, many thanks to all those who invited me, arranged work for me, hosted me and welcomed me into their homes and families on my travels:)

Ka kite ano


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off


Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the long time between posts, it’s been a very busy year for me with 8 months of traveling, the weeks seem to be flying past!

In early March I had a wonderful trip to Rarotonga for my daughters wedding, what a fabulous place and a great time with family and friends, a big thankyou to all who came to celebrate Carly & James’s big day with us:)

Raro is very laid back and uncommercial. Definitely a place we all want to go back to.

First priority when we got there was to hire scooters and head to the Cook Islands police station to get our drivers licences. Scooters are definitely the best way to get around Rarotonga which has a ring road around it and lots of roads off that heading into the middle of the island. The boys even managed to find some good offroading territory, not sure if that was covered in the rental agreement, haha!!

Enjoyed a beautiful wedding on the beach. A big thanks to everyone at the Palm Grove Resort for all they did to make it a very special day:)

Then it was back home briefly before heading to Queensland Australia for the 10th anniversary Turnfest. David Drescher bought all the previous demonstrators that could make it from the last 10 years. David and his team did a great job and a lot of fun was had by all. As I only had to give 2 demonstrations over the weekend it was nice to have plenty of time off to check out other demonstrations, catch up with friends and hang out at the beach which was just across the road from the venue:)

After Turnfest I headed to Ross Annels place in Cooroy, an hour or so north of Brisbane. Ross is an accomplished furniture maker www.rossannels.com and along with his partner Tamsin Kerr established Cooroora Institute www.cooroorainstitute.org

Ross invited me to teach a design and surface workshop, which was a nice change from the noise and dust of a woodturning workshop. I had a diverse and very open group of students including a glass worker, ceramist, painter, furniture maker as well as a local woodturner.

Then it was back to Brisbane to another fabulous furniture maker, Richard Vaughan www.richardvaughan.com.au where I did an evening presentation and similar design and surface workshop with another fun group of Richards students.

Thanks to Ross and Richard for putting everything together and to all those who came and joined in the fun:)

Today I just arrived back in Brisbane to visit with Richard again after teaching a 3 day hands on woodturning class at Cooroora with a group of students from my March classes. Was a lot of fun and great to be the first class in Ross’s new building which is destined to become a fantastic teaching and Art Library facility. Thanks again Ross:)

Early May I headed to Nth America for 3 and a half months. First up was a demo/class tour of North California, Silicon Vally, Bay Area, Norcal, Kern and Central Coast Woodturners. A huge thanks to Dean Adkins for organising the logistics of this tour as well as his efforts as area coordinator the the AAW Symposium in San Jose, great job Dean!!
And many thanks also to all those who helped with organising the venues, hosting and moving me from place to place:)

Then I got to enjoy a 2 day road trip across Nevada with Jim Rodgers  www.jlrodgers.com to Provo where I demonstrated for Craft Supplies www.woodturnerscatalog.com at their Super Wednesday event and the Utah Symposium, great to catch up with everyone in Utah and thanks to all at Craft Supplies and Treeline:)

After Utah it was on the road again with Keith Gotschall www.keithgotschall.com to spend a few days with him and his family in Salida, CO. We played in the workshop a bit and also took some time off for a bit of sightseeing in the mountains near Salida, the old ghost town of St Elmo was amazing, I just wanted to take one of those cute chipmunks home!!:)

After Keith’s I spent some time with Tom & Melinda Worsing www.thomaswirsing.com at Bad Dog Ranch near Boulder.
Nick Agar www.turningintoart.com from England joined us also for a few days of fun. I gave a hands-on class in Tom’s workshop and also got some time to make a coloborative piece with Tom which we donated for the AAW auction in San Jose. Nicest thing was Melinda was determined this piece was going back home with her!!

I also got to visit John and Peggy Lynch in EstesPark, www.johnlynchwoodworking.com John and Peggy visited me in NZ many years ago and it was so nice to see them again after so long. John has a real nice workshop and gallery at their place:)

And I got to see a bit of the Rockies and the amazing wildlife. The Elk were calving in town at Estes Park and also got to see some of that that white stuff we don’t get in Northland, nice for a quick visit on a sunny day!!!

Got lots more news to post soon but just about to head to Queensland after a great week or so in West Australia so I’m gonna try and post this now if I can remember how!!!

Here’s  some pics to show that I still get a bit of time to make stuff, recently I got to spend a bit of time with Alain Mailland and his family in France. Had a fabulous stay there:) I got to help Babette with some bowl turning, bought back memories of my years of production bowl turning and this is a collaborative piece I made with Alain that he will be showing with Thomas Riley           Gallery at SOFA Chicago this November:)

Cheers for now:)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

New Woodburner

Hi again,

Hah, two posts in as many weeks, getting the hang of this stuff now. Forgot to mention in my last post that I recently took delivery of the most amazing Woodburner I have ever seen.

For many years I have been showing students on hands-on classes in the US how to make woodburners out of battery chargers and dimmer switches. These work fine, are a lot cheaper and have a lot more power than commercially available woodburners but while I was on my tour of NZ woodturning clubs in November last year I met Brian Peers, a Rotorua woodworker who makes beautiful furniture with amazing detail but also has a day job as an electronics technician, something I also did in a previous life.

While visiting Robbie Graham in Taupo on my way to Rotorua I saw a woodburner Brian had made for Robbie using a rewound microwave oven transformer.

My interest was piqued I made a point of visiting Brian when I got to Rotorua and after a very nice visit I decided I could do with another woodburner, you can never have enough eh, saves changing tips, haha!

You can imagine my surprise when this beauty turned up a month or so later………

Knowing my previous career as a radio technician Brian went steampunk on the design. As a tech I spent some years working on analogue and digital microwave communications, installing transcievers and climbing towers on the top of mountains helping riggers run waveguide from the radio set to the dish ariel on the top of the tower, those round white things.

Running waveguide , which is eliptical corrugated copper tube as you can see the woodburner handle is made of, was the most difficult and critical part of the installation and it had to be handled with extreme care and special benders as one little dent or bad bend that changed the inner profile of the tube meant that you had to cut off the damaged bit and start again, not good if you dented it at the bottom of a 150ft run and a tad expensive to replace!!!

But my favourite feature is the brass wingnut on top of the box which starts to spin as you wind up the power, haha! Work becomes sheer pleasure when you have tools that are a work of art to work with, THANKS Brian :) :)

And while I was at it I ordered another burner for my friend/student/accountant Neil Ruddell.

I have been teaching Neil for a couple of years now and soon I think he be be starting to teach me!! Neil has done well over the last year with a highly commended award for his first ever entry in the Kawerau National Woodskills Festival and also picked up a fair share of the awards at the Northland Woodworkers Guild end of year show and competition. Congratulations Neil:)

So if you are in the market for a custom made high power woodburner I’d definitely recommend you get in touch with;

Brian Peers   soundserv@xnet.co.nz

Ph 64 7 347 9007

Happy burning:):)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off