We live near Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands, Northland, in the North Island of New Zealand. It is a popular area with both overseas and domestic tourists, attracted by the subtropical climate and lovely coastline. Avocados, oranges and kiwifruit now grow in the many orchards in the region, but before the arrival of horticulture and the Europeans, Northland was home to thousands of acres of kauri trees.
Extracting the kauri wood directly from farmland that was formerly low lying Kauri forest, or from piles of stumps already excavated by farmers, Neville turns kauri bowls and kauri platters using his lathe, woodturning- and wood-forming tools, and sandpaper. To finish off these unique kauri gifts he uses quality oils and waxes.
Neville’s first experience of woodturning was in the mid 1970’s when, as a teenager, he bought his first lathe - his favourite tool at that time being the “60 grit gouge” (the good old sandpaper). Around 10 years ago Neville’s interest in woodturning grew when he became a member of the Northland Woodturning Club, and took private tuition from highly-regarded Whangarei woodturning tutor Shane Hewitt. A year later, with growing piles of swamp kauri in the back yard, Neville took up the woodturning full time.
In April 2016 we opened the Kauri Gifts Gallery, a studio showcasing our work and other craft on State Highway 10, just outside Kerikeri. We are open Weds-Sat and other times by appointment. Please be aware that we are a small home business and that sometimes due to deliveries and other commitments we have to close the shop during the week. If you are coming especially to visit, please give us a ring beforehand to avoid disappointment. We sell through other outlets in New Zealand, including the fascinating Kauri museum at Matakohe, and we sometimes have work at The Kauri Workshop in Kerikeri . We also have items in The Elephant House in Parnell, Waitangi National Trust Shop in Waitangi, and Helena Bay Gallery. We are hoping to get a permanent inside stand at the Packhouse Market in Kerikeri, but until that happens we are sometimes at the KOAST stall there or inside the main building on Saturday mornings, 8.00 am -1.30pm.
Emma enjoys design work, painting and incorporating New Zealand’s natural objects into resin inlays, such as ferns, paua shell and kauri leaves. Some of her work is inspired by the colours and forms found in Maori art and design, others simply enhance the natural beauty of the wood. She particularly enjoys working with paua, a shell with an incredible range of beautiful colours.