Posts Tagged ‘hawkes bay’

Simon and Kate Peterson: crafting traditional toys with a contemporary twist

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Simon and Kate Peterson are a husband and wife maker duo located in the ever-beautiful and sunny Hawkes Bay. Their brand Peterson Woodcraft is all about hand crafted wooden traditional toys with a modern twist. In their spare time they moonlight as parents to four little ones aged 8 and under, drink probably far too much coffee and like to pretend that 7am is a sleep-in.

Peterson Woodcraft 1

Peterson Woodcraft 12


What do you make?
We make a variety of hand crafted wooden toys, from trolleys and wooden letters to bespoke wooden dolls houses and castles. Simon (the stay at home parent) does much of the product design and wood working while juggling children and school pick-ups, while Kate (who is a librarian by day) handles all the marketing, social media etc, and hand painting of the products.

How did you get started with your craft?
An appropriate answer would be something along the lines of how Kate was always creative and Simon always wanted to make wooden toys and other beautiful things. However, honestly, it really started out of boredom and a desire to contribute to the household income!

Simon has been the stay at home dad since our eldest was just three months old and then when we moved to Hastings two years ago our moving truck crashed and we lost almost everything we owned. Suddenly we were in this position where everything got evaluated (for insurance purposes, yay) and needs and wants were also really re-evaluated.

With our twin girls blissfully still napping, the older two off at school and Kate off at work, Simon realised his days at home were numbered and he might need to get a real job one day – something neither of us particularly wanted! So, with a bit of space to dream up something, a little insurance money and a loan from our parents, Simon got stuck in creating in his new man cave. Kate, originally just a backer and encourager from the sidelines, quickly got involved in product design and the paint finishing, and it all went from there.

Peterson Woodcraft 2

Peterson Woodcraft 3

Peterson Woodcraft 4

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
Besides some 5th and 6th form woodworking and art classes, and a short stint into carpentry – nope! It has been a self taught, research and discovery as we go approach. And really this is partly what makes it more fun.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Wood is the obvious answer. Kate never felt that strongly about it until we started working with it all the time, now she is really into grains and textures too! But dreaming things up on paper and computer screen is also a huge part of it.

Describe your creative process:
It usually starts on a bit of scrap paper the kids have drawn on and then the computer. Someone asks us to create something we haven’t done before, or Kate has spent too much time on the internet, and then a whole lot of research and tinkering on screen goes on. Simon draws it up the idea in a programme on the computer so we can get a good look at it from all angles and can work out materials etc. This design phase and problem solving part is something Simon really enjoys. For Kate, having a good cup of coffee, some music and time out to just go paint is a lovely way to spend a Sunday.

Peterson Woodcraft 13

Peterson Woodcraft 9

Peterson Woodcraft 16

Describe your workspace:
Currently? There isn’t one! Very excitingly, we have just moved in to our first home. So at the moment the ‘workspace’ is filled with boxes and other miscellaneous children-related paraphernalia (who knew they could have so much stuff). The great news now, though, is we actually have a dedicated wood working space, as well as a connected unit to use as a painting and finishing studio. Before this we were painting on the floor of the sleep-out of a house we rented!

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
Thankfully, we have had a lot of positive feedback and it really is important… especially for a couple of perfectionists who agonise over the details! This bit of feedback recently really made our month though:
“We are absolutely blown away by the quality of workmanship and attention to details, totally exceeded our expectations (from packaging to the product itself)! Thank you Simon!”


Peterson Woodcraft 8

Peterson Woodcraft 11

What are you currently listening to?
We have The Rock radio station on almost always! If it is not that then it’s the cricket (which Kate HATES).

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
The last probably, and one of Kate’s favourite things was a Chocolate Fish keyring made by Kellyvize. It always is a conversation starter! It is amazing how many people think Kate has a half eaten chocolate fish laying around the place.

What’s in store for 2017?
Settling in and setting up our workspace is our first priority, and a really exciting one! After that we have been working on some designs for wooden Rapunzel towers and castles – one off bespoke pieces – and we can’t wait to make these come to life.

Peterson Woodcraft 15

As a special treat for Felt customers Peterson Woodcraft are offering free shipping on all products bought through Felt for the next fortnight – just enter the voucher code FELTMTM17 at checkout. Offer is open until Monday 27 March and is available to New Zealand residents only.


Purchase from Peterson Woodcraft here »


Peterson Woodcraft 14

Beautiful and useful: how a wooden spoon becomes an object of desire

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Peter Coulter of Reclectica is an ex dentist, ex signwriter, now furniture maker and spoon carver. Peter has long had a fascination for green woodworking, but it wasn’t until a tree fell across his driveway that he took up spoon carving. He and wife Nicola are a full time designer-maker couple, running Coulter & Coulter, a homewares brand based in Hawkes Bay. Reclectica is Peter’s own furniture and woodworking project.

reclectica cover

What do you make?
Spoons, furniture, and the occasional bit of signwriting, all with a strong emphasis on using found and recycled materials.

How did you get into your craft?
I have always had a practical and artistic side which needs an outlet, so when Nicola started Coulter & Coulter it was inevitable that I would follow. Our ranges compliment each other and we make a great team.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
Not as such, I have a degree in dentistry and a certificate in signwork but enthusiasm, an inquisitive nature and a can-do attitude count for much more.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Timber and metal. I use predominantly hand tools and found materials which often dictates the process.

reclectica poplar

reclectica spoon carving

reclectica spoon trio

What inspires you?
People – artists, poets, songwriters, cooks and landscape gardeners. Also the world around me – the colours and shapes and patterns.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
Plain, simple, useful. I also have a strong belief that the future lies with the small makers, the artisans and those like Felt that support and promote them.

Five words that describe your mind:
“I can see time” whispered Mogget. (yes I know that is six)

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
“Can I show you a photo of your table in my home?”

Describe your workspace:
Modest. I work out of a single car garage, and the space outside. So, a window at one end, a door at the other, tools on the wall and a bench down the middle.

I have a strong belief that the future lies with the small makers, the artisans and those like Felt that support and promote them.

reclectica workshop

reclectica workbench

reclectica knife

What are you currently listening to?
Spotify, so everything, but if I had to pick one song it would be Hell is Round the Corner by Tricky (which samples Glory Box by Portishead).

Recommend an album:
Dummy by Portishead – play it loud!

What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K Le Guin. I love words and at its heart the book deals with the magic inherent in language.

What are you reading now?
I usually have several books around me so – Plain Simple Useful: The Essence of Conran Style by Terence Conran, Spaces by Frankie Magazine and an ebook, Cre8tive Success by David Litwin.

Who is your hero/heroine?
I have several and each has taught me something different, so in no particular order… Nigel Slater, Dan Pearson, Helena Bonham-Carter, Terence Conran, Alphonse Mucha, Edward Catich, Andy Goldsworthy, Junior Kimbrough and Daniel Craig’s James Bond.


reclectica brushes

A favourite quote:
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris.

Do you have any pets?
Yes, two cats Buffy and Ranna.

What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Follow your own path – be inspired but don’t copy, listen to advice but always make up your own mind, share freely what you know – and sign up to Instagram.

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
Probably an inch and a half Alongee pattern carving gouge by Ashley Isles. They are a small family company in England, their tools take a beautifully sharp edge and are a joy to use.

What’s in store for 2016?
Mostly trying to keep up with Nicola’s ideas! We have had a year off from craft fairs so time to get back out there, one maybe two pop-up shops, and I am learning to turn wooden bowls and plates on my foot powered pole lathe.

reclectica prize spoon

Peter has very generously offered one of his beautiful, functional spoons as a prize for one lucky Felt reader. Pictured above, this is a smaller-bowled general purpose cooking spoon (approx 29cm by 5cm), hand carved from locally foraged green poplar and finished with a food safe linseed oil and beeswax balm. A strong but light hardwood, poplar is an excellent timber for spoons. To be in to win, simply leave a comment telling us what you like about Peter’s story and his creations. The draw will be made on Friday 25 March and is open to New Zealand residents only.


Purchase from Reclectica on Felt »


reclectica cooking spoon

Featured Seller: Fat Spatula

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Coffee-fuelled late nights, an off-beat sense of humour and a talent for spreading joy are the driving forces behind Andy Heyward’s diverse Fat Spatula range of quirky art and novelty products.

“I consider my work to be deeply shallow and I enjoy bringing a smile to people’s faces… Painting is a creative release from my other serious and stressful positions of being President of the Haumoana Lemon Marketing Board and founding member of the Haumoana Men’s Knitting Club.”

Fat-Spatula Do You Remember When

What do you make?
I make smiles and hopefully by making people smile I make their day better. The Fat Spatula range of products has come about from too many late nights and too much coffee. They are based on the desire to make people happy – if they do this and also serve some function then it’s a double bonus.

My creations, while being an eclectic mix are all tied together by my own sense of quirkiness and humour. I love things that are slightly off-beat and a little left-field of what is normal. It is these things which make me smile and laugh at life and so I try to put that into my own work.

I also try to make products that are as original as possible, although sometimes you can have a brilliant idea that no one else has thought of and Google search ruins your day. For this reason I have stopped googling my ideas before I have done them otherwise I am likely to be put off.

How did you get into your craft?
I have always made things and been creative. But I guess I started selling my craft with the creation of The Man Shawl. The Man Shawl came into existence after a local party I had been too, it was evening and a bunch of blokes were sitting about drinking outside and as it got cooler, one of the guys said “I wish I had a nana-rug for my knees.” We all laughed but it got me thinking on how I could make a shawl or throw that was blokey. I decided Army blankets with carabineers and duct tape sounded rugged enough.

My first prototypes were given away as Christmas presents to all the males in the family and after a bit of feedback and adjustments, I made half a dozen to be sold at a local market. When someone actually bought one I was stoked and this set me on the path of the Craft-side.

Fat-Spatula Pillow Fighting Club

Fat-Spatula Big Wax Combo

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I have a diploma in visual art and design and I worked for many years in the Art Department at a regional newspaper dealing with account managers and clients and other artists. It was a walk in the park compared to getting behind a stall at a market, smiling pleasantly and baring your soul for customers to pick at, like ravens at a corpse… they go for the eyes and lips first apparently.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
I love to paint and I love the process of painting, I like how painting makes you slow down. When you are using a computer for a majority of your work, it is great to have to switch tempo to paint. You are forced into slowly building texture and background, you have to wait for paint to dry and if you make a mistake you can’t just ctrl – z, you have to figure how to fix it or go with it. I also like to sketch and most of the
time have an ink-pen and journal within reach. My sketch books are containers for ideas and creations, some of them are realised straight away and some of them simmer and brew until the right time.

What inspires you?
I grew up listening to the Goon Show with Spike Milligan on National Radio and as a teenager I loved shows like The Young Ones, The Goodies, Monty Python and Father Ted and so a lot of my humour is influenced by these shows. I have just been to see the Penguins of Madagascar movie and I laughed throughout the movie, I think I scared a little girl two rows back.

Fat-Spatula Morgue Mates

Describe your workspace:
My workspace is a mess, I am lucky enough to have a large room in the house which serves as my studio and office, It is also a warehouse and distribution centre as well as an eclectic junk display space. I can hide from the world in my room and if I ration out the jellybeans (for the Jars of Joy) I could probably survive for a while in it. If I had an attic it would probably look like the one in Goonies, where they find the map
to the treasure.

I am also involved with the running of two shops in Hawke’s Bay, Coco & Co in Hastings and The Department of Curiosities and Fine Things in Napier. It is great to band together with other makers and run a business together, I get a great deal from the different perspectives and viewpoints of my fellow workmates and it is great to brainstorm and bounce ideas around with. It also stops me from becoming a hermit in my workspace and living off jellybeans.

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
My favourite feedback from a customer was years ago and it was before I was making things as Fat Spatula. I used to create a kids-page that appeared weekly in the paper and I had an alter-ego, King Andy. On this page I would tell silly jokes and create puzzles and madness and generally see how far I could push the limits of decent taste. I would often get a lot of letters from the CWI (Country Women’s Institute) who would complain about the mention of snot on the page or how I was corrupting the grandchildren.

One Christmas I got a card from a bloke in prison who wanted to thank me for creating a page that he and his young son could read together over the phone. That card meant a lot to me, it also made me realise that while I was having fun I was also creating something that others could have fun with.

What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
My favourite book as a child was In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak. I loved the illustrations and the mischief in it.

Fat-Spatula Godzilla

What are you reading now?
I am really into historical novels at present – I am part way through a series by Bernard Cornwell about the Saxons and the Vikings. It is good inspiration for more pillow fighting cushions. I am thinking a range of armour and shields would go well with the clubs.

A favourite quote:
A well used quote is “A saveloy boiled is a saveloy spoiled”. It is a versatile quote and can be applied to any situation and any part of your life journey. But my favourite quote at present is by Thomas Edison, he said “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

What is your top tip for those starting out in running a crafty business?
My advice for others starting out is to follow your passion, do what you love, it may not make you any money but you will be the richer for it. If you want to make loads of money put your energy into becoming a lawyer or an accountant. If you want to live a creative lifestyle go for what you love.

Try not to copy others, take inspiration from them, but don’t rip them off. Be original, create new things and back your own ideas even if no one else will. Hold your dreams as valuable.

Be nice to other crafters and stall holders, they are on a similar journey and everyone is battling unknown issues and challenges which may not be obvious to us. Collaborate instead of competing with others, take risks and find out what works and what doesn’t.

Fat-Spatula Mid-Winter market

To see more of Andy’s smile-inducing silliness, make sure you stop by his Felt shop Fat Spatula.

Andy has generously offered us this fabulous A3 altered art print, “My Little Pony Goes Apeshit” (below), as a prize for one lucky Felt blog reader. To win this marvellous prize just leave a comment telling us what you like about Andy’s story and his creations. The draw will be made on Friday 13 February and is open to New Zealand residents only.

Fat-Spatula My Little Pony

Fat-Spatula Prints

Haumoana Market Day

Monday, October 20th, 2014

The one and only Haumoana Market Day is coming up once again, on Sunday 2 November in Memorial Park, Haumoana. Haumoana Market Day is one of the biggest family events in the Hawke’s Bay calendar, with a great range of stalls including art and crafts, clothing and unique gifts.

Sample the yummy food on offer, chill to live music and enjoy the entertainment. All money raised on the day goes directly to benefit the kids of Haumoana School – how cool is that? The market runs from 10am – 3pm so make a day of it!


Jammin’ in the Fruit Bowl

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

It’s a bumper weekend of craft this weekend, and Hawkes Bay residents are in for a treat. This year the Bay’s own Fruit Bowl Craft Jam is presenting an extravaganza of contemporary craft and design, starting things off with the Starry, Starry Craft market on Saturday night and continuing the fun on Sunday morning with The Morning (Cr)After.

With more than seventy stalls and a huge range of beautiful handcrafted products to choose from, you can get your Christmas shopping done in one swoop and make this Christmas an unforgettable handmade one.

And Felt will be there! Felt’s own creator and director, Lucy Arnold, will be on hand with shopping suggestions to solve your Christmas conundrums. (Yep, she’s going to be at Auckland Art & Craft Fair too – rumour at Felt HQ is that she has a TARDIS.) While you’re there make sure you enter the Felt prize draw to be in to win a gorgeous selection of goodies from some fabulous Felt makers.

Fruit Bowl Craft Jam takes place at the Opera House Plaza, Hastings on this Saturday 30 November from 4pm till 9pm and Sunday 1 December from 9am to 2pm. Admission is free and Eftpos is available.

Silver Heart Earrings by Silverworks

COLLARS - Swallow, Deer, Crown or Butterfly

Warming up Winter in Hawkes Bay

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

The weekend of 14 and 15 June sees the return of the Made It Here crew with a Mid-Winter Warm-Up Craft Market at Asher Hall in Napier

Jo, Nicola and Andy are the minds behind the Made It Here pop-up shop in Napier before Christmas last year. Building on the success of that, they are collaborating again to bring you a curated collection of more than 30 stalls, each selling unique handmade products.

Felt shops are well represented at Made It Here, so if you can’t make it there, you’ll still be able to find all these gorgeous Hawkes Bay goodies on Felt:

 galleryThe Made It Here Mid-Winter Warm-Up Craft Market is being held at the Asher Hall, corner of Tennyson and Dalton Streets in Napier on Friday 14 June from 4pm till 7.30pm and Saturday 15 June from 10am till 3pm. Rumour has it there’ll be complimentary hot chocolate and cake, so don’t miss out!

A feast of handmade in Havelock North

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

The handmade love abounds in Havelock North – this lucky town has two fabulous crafty markets on the first Saturday of every month!

First up, there’s the Havelock Handmade Market. This crafty assembly is dedicated to the locals – the talented makers of the Hawkes Bay region.

The Havelock Handmade Market springs to life on the first Saturday of every month, in the middle of the Village Court, Te Mata Road, Havelock North.

But wait, there’s more! Really get your market fill by making your next stop the Craft and Design Market, at the Hawthorne Coffee Shop, 23 Napier Road. This market also runs on the first Saturday of the month and features local and New Zealand makers, as well as imported ethical goods. Find them on Facebook too.

How spoilt is Havelock North? What a way to spend your Saturday morning – it’s a market-fest!

Jammin’ in the Bay

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Fruit Bowl Craft Jam, Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 December, Hawke's Bay

Fruit Bowl Craft Jam is the place to be in the Hawke’s Bay this weekend. This colourful makers’ market, brought to you by Coco and Co, is back once again to continue its mission growing and harvesting the best of Hawke’s Bay craft.

This year Craft Jam explodes with more than 60 stalls, as well as the inaugural Jam Bake-Off (Sunday only), face painting, storytelling, Christmas carols, fire breathers, contortionists, trick ponies, guest appearances by celebrities, juggling Siamese twins and knitting walruses. They said it so it must be true!

The fun begins at 5pm this Saturday with a night market – a lovely way to get some Christmas shopping done with a glass of wine and some music – then on Sunday, it’s family time from 10am. As well as the quality craft on offer, there will be face painting and some stories for children, and of course the Jam Bake-Off.

Among the many talented vendors are some of our stalwart Felt sellers, including Fat Spatula, Coulter & Coulter, Wildflower, Alexandra Mackenzie, Sleep and her Sisters, Emma Makes, Silverworks and more.

galleryYou’ll find Jars of Joy and all manner of other Craft Jam fun happening in the wonderfully light and airy surrounds of the Opera House Plaza, Hastings, from 5pm to 9pm on Saturday 1 December and 10am to 2pm on Sunday 2 December.

Featured Seller: Alexandra Mackenzie

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Hailing from the lovely Hawke’s Bay, Ellen Hamlin grew up crafting and will try her hand at most things, but harbours a particular passion for crochet. Her love of vintage, handmade and retro styles (“all smooshed together”) inspired her to pick up a crochet hook upon discovering that she was not alone in her tastes and “granny chic” was officially on the rise. And so emerged Alexandra Mackenzie.

Granny square cushion covers by Alexandra Mackenzie

What do you make?
Granny squares!! I love love love granny squares and I use them to create all kinds of crocheted goodness, from hot water bottle and cushion covers to takeout coffee and tea pot cosies. My one rule for the things I create – it must be colourful…

How did you get into your craft?
It all started about two years ago when I spied a very ugly jersey in the 50c bin at my favourite oppy. As a jersey it was ugly, but I bought it because the colours were so vibrant. I unravelled the jersey and made my first granny squares with it; I hunted down another jersey to match and made my first blanket. From there I was hooked (pun intended!).

Colour Me Happy granny square cushion cover by Alexandra Mackenzie

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
Not a one – after a few false starts trying to learn from a book I tried a YouTube tutorial – success! I am very definitely a product of being self taught, I can’t read a pattern and would be lost in the terminology. Because of this, everything I make is completely my own, all my patterns are original and stashed safely in my head.

How did you choose the name of your business?
Alexandra Mackenzie are my middle names – I have always thought they sounded just a tad bit posh and they have a strong family connection as Mackenzie is my grandmother’s maiden name.

"I love gathering nasty jerseys and blankets with holes to unravel and create wonderfully colourful items – it is amazing the colours you come across..." – Ellen Hamlin, Alexandra Mackenzie

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
A 4.5mm hook and a basket of thrifted yarns. I love gathering nasty jerseys and blankets with holes to unravel and create wonderfully colourful items – it is amazing the colours you come across; what might have been the most awful puce coloured jersey looks great in a granny square. (more…)

Featured Seller: Coulter & Coulter

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Hawke’s Bay’s Coulter & Coulter, otherwise known as Nicola and Peter Coulter, are a family team that work together from their kitchen table producing beautiful hand block printed organic textiles. Over time the business has grown to include more vintage textiles and wool blankets that can be printed and used to produce beautiful items for the home.

Brown vintage blanket with dark teal "Knot Garden" by Coulter & Coulter

What do you make?
We transform vintage and organic textiles into beautiful things, through a process of hand block printing using water based non toxic inks.

How did you get into your craft?
I have been into textiles since I was tiny and have gone through various stages of creating fabrics to use in craft projects. Peter loves to carve wood blocks. It seemed a good idea to combine the two. He carves the blocks and I do the printing. In this way our creative ideas are influenced by each other’s work, taking us down paths we might not have gone down on our own.

"...our creative ideas are influenced by each other's work, taking us down paths we might not have gone down on our own." – Nicola Coulter, Coulter & Coulter

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I don’t, other than a couple of pattern making courses a long time ago. Peter is a trained signwriter and a lot of the skills he learnt then are very useful now.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Any bits of vintage textiles or bits of stuff people don’t want but are just too good to end up in landfill. My favourite tools are my wooden printing blocks that Peter has carved for me. There is nothing more meditative for me than finding the right pattern for the right fabric.

Clockwise from left: Nicola printing with a block hand carved by Peter; green paisley print on unbleached calico; indigo circle flowers linen tablecloth

What inspires you?
People inspire me – my parents, Peter, my kids, friends and other wonderful designers. Just finding little bits of beauty in the smallest of places. (more…)