Posts Tagged ‘homewares’

A good turn: bringing out the beauty in recycled native timbers

Monday, August 14th, 2017

David Gillard of WoodgrainNZ is passionate about the manipulation of timber, creating interesting designs and revealing the natural beauty of New Zealand native and exotic timbers. In his Auckland workshop David handcrafts unique artistic and functional pieces that are predominantly created from recycled timbers sourced in New Zealand.

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woodgrainnz vase blog

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woodgrainnz

What do you make?
Wood art, hollow forms, wall art and kitchenware.

How did you get into your craft?
I did a building course in 2011 and loved the finishing process and fine detail work with timber. And decided that building wasn’t really me, in that it wasn’t detailed enough. I started out making furniture and then moved onto kitchenware and I’m currently working on pushing the boundaries of wood and art.

I enjoy… taking a raw piece of wood, figuring out the best way to show it off and then seeing it all come together.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
No. I am self taught with regard to wood turning and have gained knowledge and skill through planning, research, and of course trial and error.

Your favourite, tools and processes?
My favourite timber is Black Maire. I enjoy the process of planning what type of piece I am making and then taking a raw piece of wood, figuring out the best way to show it off and then seeing it all come together.

Tell us about some of the techniques involved in producing one of your pieces.
Milling timber is the biggest part of my work. A tree is cut down and then the centre pith of the tree is removed and cut into slabs. I then cut to rough blank, then the timber is sealed at the ends with wax so that the timber can be stored for 6-12 months. This prevents the wood from drying out and cracking.

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woodgrainnz
woodgrainnz

Then I cut it down on a bandsaw and roughly wood turn it down to its rough size and store it again for 6-12 months so that the wood can dry out to about 6% moisture content. This process reduces the piece moving and warping once made.

When I am ready to use the wood I turn it on the lathe to its finished size and apply finishing textures and colours. Finishings include a lot of sanding, gold leaf, colour dying, woodburning and applying a finishing coat of wax, stain or polyurethane. If I am creating a laminated piece, this will involve gluing and clamping different timbers together first before turning.

What inspires you?
Learning and finding new ways to do things that push me to make things that have wow factor.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
Big time. Showing off our native giants that have been around for hundreds to thousands of years. They are a big part of New Zealand’s history and they shaped New Zealand’s landscape.

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woodgrainnz

A little bit about my Remembrance Skull…
This skull represents our New Zealand native trees over hundreds of years being chopped down and made into things. A lot like the Mexican celebration that remembers the dead. This is my way of showing my appreciation of these old giants. I’m so lucky to be able to work and show these timbers off through my works and make them be appreciated again for many years to come.

As I mostly deal with recycled or rescued timber it’s nice to be able to take something that was or intended for floorboards for houses or, even worse, firewood and design it into a piece of wood art.

The skull has Pohutakawa and Kowhai flowers, a couple of types of our native ferns, our almighty Kauri tree leaves, and the four stars from the Southern Cross.

Lastly I’d like to say I do understand there will be people that will think the skull is a dark or negative symbol, but this was not designed as that but more of a positive symbol for remembering some of these ancient giants that were covering New Zealand and are now getting harder to find.

Special thanks to Geoffrey Kerr for taking my rough idea in my head and putting it to pen to paper – looks so awesome and I’m so proud of it. Again thanks mate.

woodgrainnz koru sphere blog

woodgrainnz candle holder blog

Describe your creative process?
Jump in with two hands and don’t be scared to make some firewood along the way.

Describe your workspace
Some people say that it’s like a hobbit workshop. Lots of little spaces and wood and sawdust everywhere which is how a wood working shop should be! LOL.

Five words that describe your mind
Determined, focused, striving, inventive, experimenting.

…it’s nice to be able to take something that was… floorboards… or, even worse, firewood and design it into a piece of wood art.

Your favourite feedback from a customer
“To David/Woodgrain NZ… Please don’t ever stop making these wonderful works of art. Everyone here in Haldensleben Germany who has seen them loved the design and colours. Cheers Steffen.”

What are you currently listening to?
Anything NZ, 1814, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Katchafire, The Black Seeds, Herbs, Electron etc.

What was your favourite childhood book and why?
Badjelly the Witch. It just always cracked me up all the funny characters. We had a book and the vinyl record.

What are you reading now?
Ellsworth on Woodturning: How a Master Creates Bowls, Pots, and Vessels by David Ellsworth and Newspaper Blackout by Austin Kleon.

A favourite quote
“You learn something everyday if you pay attention.”
“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

woodgrainnz rimu spoons blog

woodgrainnz honey sticks blog

Tell us about your pets?
We have suburban chickens, brown shavers. These girls help me get rid of all the wood shavings I create in the workshop and they are pretty good at supplying us with eggs.

If you were a craft superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
What do you mean if I were a superhero! I am a superhero and my super powers are highly classified. (Of course. Sorry to put you on the spot there. -Ed.)

What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Do you research into the market. Learn all you can about what it is you are wanting to do. Find people that you can bounce ideas off and test the market. Never forget the reason why you started and never stop telling your story.

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
A beany hat from the local market. Had it custom made by two lovely older ladies. I wear it all the time when I can find it.

What’s in store for the rest of 2017?
Taking all the ideas and techniques that I have been working on and putting them all together and getting lost in my work. Keywords: 2017, onwards, new, big, amazing, out there.

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Prize draw!
David has generously offered an awesome prize for one lucky Felt reader of a stylish Kauri pepper mill, valued at $165.00 (see above). This gorgeous blue-green dyed, hand turned mill stands a smidge over 30cm high, making it a superb dining table statement piece.

To be in to win this great prize, simply leave a comment telling us what you loved about David’s story and his creations. The draw will be made on Friday 25 August and is open to New Zealand residents only.

 

Purchase from WoodgrainNZ’s Felt range here »

 

woodgrainnz pohutukawa bowl blog

Ward off winter

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

We all need a bit of snuggly warmth right now, and this chunky knit blanket from Chain Gang, made from beautiful natural NZ merino wool, will make a great throw for your couch or favourite chair – or it can even be used as a cot blanket.

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See more snuggly goodness from Chain Gang »

 

Natural form, practical function

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

The stunning natural form of the nīkau palm frond bulb is the basis of these beautiful bowls from Chop. Not only do they look amazing, they’re sustainably sourced too, and ideal as a fruit bowl, bread basket, or other serving platter for dry foods.

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Check out Chop’s sustainable range now »

 

A rainy day solution from Tree Essence

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

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These practical and funky drying racks from Tree Essence are the perfect electricity-saving way to get those towels dry in all this rainy weather. Hoist them up to the ceiling to dry your washing in no time – they come with everything you need to hang them: two standard pulleys, ceiling hangers, white rope for up to a three metre ceiling, a wall cleat and rope saddle guides.

Your rainy day or garden-less clothes drying solution! Available in two sizes, small and large.

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Hidden within a piece of timber…

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Macrocarpa bowl by Trees Set Free

Otago-based wood turner Peter of Trees Set Free started wood turning 18 years ago. He finds joy in revealing beauty hidden with a piece of timber and “setting it free” by crafting the wood into lasting items to be used and enjoyed every day. This small bowl is made from a piece of macrocarpa, revealing soft golden tones and a striking grain.

Macrocarpa bowl by Trees Set Free

 

See more from Trees Set Free »

 

The handmade home: gifts for domestic gods and goddesses

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Every domestic deity appreciates the value of beautifully made belongings, so Felt is the perfect place to find Christmas gifts for them. Plus, every item on Felt is made right here in Aotearoa, so you know you’re getting something special.

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Check out our curated collection of gifts for domestic goddesses and gods in the Felt Christmas Gift Guide today!

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1. Wire-patterned glass coasters by E-Fusion | 2. Looped macrame hanger by Crafted | 3. Ceramic salad bowl by Stephen Robertson | 4. Produce bags by The Rubbish Whisperer | 5. Dutch canal house cheese boards by Nannestad & Sons

 

Peruse the Felt Christmas Gift Guide »

Check out the Felt Christmas Catalogue on Issuu »

 

thebusyfinch blog

Snap, crackle, and pop!

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

We’re in love with the vibrant crackle and colour of the crockery of Nelson potter Stephen Robertson. How would these be for the perfect Christmas breakfast set?

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Purchase from Stephen Robertson on Felt »

 

Tui towel? Tui tote? Absolutui!

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

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See more gorgeous native bird print tea towels and totes from NineteenA Design »

 

Steampunk your house

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

If you’re into steampunking your style, why not bring your house to the party? These awesome steampunk-style light switch covers from Rustic Metal Art bring a solid chunk of Victorian industrial ambience right into your own home.

Easy to install, they’re designed to fit over the common style of switch plate pictured. Available in single and double switch plate options. Switch to yours today!

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Stephen Robertson Pottery

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

We’re in love with the amazing depth of colour in this elegant crockery from Nelson potter Stephen Robertson. A full time potter since 2013, Stephen makes pottery that is meant to be used and enjoyed. His work has a signature intricate crazing to the glaze, highlighted by the rich colour and deep black rims on each piece.

See more of Stephen’s beautiful pottery here.

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