I have always loved working with wood... from creating furniture and hand—crafting jewellery boxes, to hand—building my own home on Stewart island NZ in the early 1980s. In 1995 at the Greenwood Trust in Ironbridge, England, I learned the art of traditional greenwood chairmaking.
I became passionate about the hand tools and methods used to make these chairs and returned to New Zealand determined to become a traditional greenwood chair craftsman.
In mid 1998 I established Traditional Greenwood Chairs and began chairmaking full-time. In the six years till late 2003, I crafted and sold more than 600 chairs, mainly through a handful of top—line furniture and interior design stores throughout New Zealand, as well as directly to USA, Hong Kong and England.
We spent five years on Norfolk Island where I worked as a cabinet maker/joiner along with running chair workshops and crafting commissioned chairs until we relocated to Australia in early 2008. I spent three years in Australia, chairmaking, eventually settling in the beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW.
Since returning to New Zealand I have gained a degree in product design and am qualified as a technology teacher. We have now relocated to the Bay of Islands where we have bought a block of land with the intention of building along with carrying on with more chairmaking.
I use the same hand tools our forefathers regularly used in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. These include the adze, draw knife, spoke shave, side axe, in—shave, hand saws, mallets, chisels, and brace and bits.
Environmental harmony — a better future — I am committed to ethical and environmentally sound business practice with the use of sustainable harvesting, minimal use of fossil fuel and the crafting of furniture designed to last longer than your lifetime.