Arrowmont Summer Class

News update on my upcoming 2 week summer class  at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, 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 and the second week by Clay Foster . 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:)

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Currency of Birdsong

Hi everyone,

thought you might like to know about a great event happening at Cooroora Institue 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:)

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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:)


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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


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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 and along with his partner Tamsin Kerr established Cooroora Institute

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 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 to Provo where I demonstrated for Craft Supplies 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 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 at Bad Dog Ranch near Boulder.
Nick Agar 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, 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:)

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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

Ph 64 7 347 9007

Happy burning:):)

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Spring Update

Hi everyone,

Again, a long time between postings, sorry but not much good at this website stuff, would rather be in the workshop or fishing.

Been a busy time since I last wrote from the Wood Festival in Breville, France so haven’t even had much time for fishing although I did get out last week and we were pulling in fish as fast as our lines hit the water, not often it’s that good, I guess that’s why they call it fishing and not catching eh!!!

The Breville Wood Festival was fantastic, 3 days of a multitude of woodcrafts and arts, fabulous local organic foods and beverages and  music. The woodturning competition was a lot of fun, a big thanks to all the turners who took part with much cameraderie and laughter, even though I suspect they were probably laughing at my pathetic attempts to speak French!!

Luckily Michel Auriou from Auriou Rasps was there to help me translate, thanks Michel. A big thanks again to to Martin  Gschwandtner from Magma Tools in Austria and Raymond Bordet in France for supplying the magnificent Titan lathe and all the tools I needed but couldn’t fit in the overhead on the plane. And the biggest thanks to all the fabulous folks in the Breville community and their sponsors for all the hard work and support in putting an event like this together and hosting us all so wonderfully.

And much to my surprise the judges awarded my piece,‘Extravagant Balance’, 1st place in the competition. All the finished pieces were equally worthy and I sure would have found it hard to judge.

And it is all happenging again this year but with a very different format. As it will be the 10th anniversary of the festival the organisers are inviting back all the competitors from the last 10 events but there will not be any competition, it will be a collaborative gathering where we will all spend 3 days playing together and ‘just making stuff’ :)

Also this year the Breville Festival is partnering with AFTAB the French Association for Artistic Woodturning which will be organising their annual Congress in association with the Festival. AFTAB will be running 3 day hands on classes in Breville leading up to the festival and then running their Congress alongside the festival with demonstrations from leading International and French woodturners who will also be playing at the collaborative gathering between demonstrations, there will be all the other usual festival activities going on as well and promises to be a lot of fun so if you can make it to Breville, near Cognac, late August I’d definitely recommend a visit, for exact dates and details go to and

After France I enjoyed a nice visit to Israel, many thanks to Daniel Serota for organising my demo there and providing use of his workshop/school and to all those who came along. Big thanks also to Pablo Nemzoff and family for the wonderful hospitality and to Eli & Liba & Shakar for a fabulous day in the Upper Gallilea, I hope it’s not so long till I see you all again :)

I returned home ready to some serious time in the workshop which was just as well as we’ve had the worst summer in NZ I can ever remember, way too cool and wet, that Spanish geezer El Nino is to blame apparentlyL But at least I wasn’t too upset being in the workshop and not at the beach!

Not much action on the property selling / workshop moving front till this week when an offer on the property came in and fingers crossed it will all progress smoothly and I am really looking forward to setting up a new workshop in Whangarei.

Got another busy travel year ahead, I’m sitting on a plane right now heading to Rarotonga for my daughters wedding:) Just about to land so gotta turn off for now.

Back again.

Work travel starts late March when I head across the ditch for Turnfest, another 10yr anniversary with demonstrators from all previous events coming back, check out After turnfest I’ll be visiting furniture designer Ross Annels in Cooroy, Nth of Brisbane and giving a presentation about the CollaboratioNZ conferences that we have been holding in Northland with the hope it will convince the local council to get behind Ross in organising a similar event in Cooroy, It is amazing how the ripples have gone out after the first Emma Lake Collaboration in Nth Saskatchewan in 1996. Sadly I missed the Bowral Collab in NSW, Australia while I was in Israel but have heard from Mark Sfirri that it was a fabulous event.

In October I’ll be going to the Western Australian Collab, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to WA and I’m really looking forward to catching up with lots of friends there, sadly one of my favourite WA woodturners Gordon Ward passed away last year and I know we will all miss Gordon and his pun-ishing wit but I am sure he will be there with us in spirit :)

After Cooroy I’ll be heading back to Brisbane to do a weekemnd class in furnitue designer Richard Vaughan’s ‘shedudio’ focusing on design, carving and surface treatments.

Then it’s back home for a week or three to repack the bags before I head to Nth Amarica in early May, doing a bunch of demo in the Bay Area of San Francisco then heading to Provo, Utah for Craft Supplies ‘Super Wednesday’ and the Utah Symposium, I haven’t been to this event since the move from BYU so looking forward it. I’ll also be attending the AAW Symposium in San Jose where I’ll be having some input to a panel discussion on effective teaching and demonstrating and helping out on the Magma trtade stand. Then I’ll be doing some demos/classes in Washington State, Oregan and Vancouver Is and ending my trip in Nth Saskatchewan at Emma Lake.

Then home for 3 weeks to recharge and repack before heading to France for the Breville Wood Festival/AFTAB Congress, Austria for the the Magma ‘Open Doors’ and then the West Australia Collaboration.

I am still managing to get a few pieces made and here’s a few pics of some latest work…….

‘Point Break’ – collection of Steve Smith and Ruth – Melbourne, Australia.

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