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Woodworking and in particular woodturning had been a slowly growing interest from my early teens after building a surfboard, kayak, and sundry small pieces of furniture. Exposure to an Uncle, who was an engineer and had built his own lathe, and who enthusiastically showed off the turned pieces he had made encouraged me to think about getting started into turning.

My first lathe arrived as a Christmas present from my two daughters in 1988 and was the start of a passion for learning new skills and techniques. That first machine did not last long and am now on my third upgrade, an Omega Stubby, which has all the functions needed for top level turning.

Over the following years my main interest has been "the bowl" in all its forms but there is always a need to produce spindle work as well as this is where repetitive work is required. A very good cabinet maker has me make all the turned pieces he needs for remedial work on antiques and his new work.

The major influences on my journey have been firstly a demonstration by David Elsworth at a Turangi Jamboree where he made a hollow form. This was my first exposure to non-utilitarian work and set me toward making artistic pieces that were just nice to look at and had no other function.

The second influence was reading a book "Bert Marsh Woodturner". Bert was a master of delicate thin wall turnings and particularly those with the natural edge of bark still in place. This style of turning is one I enjoy and continue when the right piece of wood is available.

Being able to turn a consistent thin wall thickness led to the next stage. An article in a woodturning magazine showing the delicate pierced and colourful work of Binh Pho was the major influence on my artistic journey. I contacted Binh and obtained a high speed dental drill from him that he used for piercing his work. Two years later Binh was demonstrating at Turnfest in Brisbane and this gave me the opportunity to see some of his work and to discuss and refine my work. Two years later I went to Arrowmont Art School in Gatlinburg, Tennessee where Binh was hosting a one week course on embellishment of thin walled turnings and where I could refine the use of an airbrush for painting my work.

The amount of time involved in producing an art piece is considerable and some of my larger pieces have taken six weeks from start to finish and therefore only a couple of pieces are produced each year.

Graeme McIntyre

See a selection of Graeme's work in the Picture Gallery at

Graeme McIntyre.



My woodworking activity started when as a 7 year old at Primary school during the early part of WW2 our teacher gave each boy a Coping saw and a piece of 3 ply wood about the size of a sheet of A4 paper, with which to make whatever we wished. At this time our home was across the road from an Army Camp and I chose to make a pistol that used a rubber band for ammunition. I never did shoot a fly but having an active mind and hearing of some war stories I used to take my loaded pistol to bed just in case someone got into our house. ("What nonsense goes through the minds of children?")

As a 12 year old, I and the other boys in our class went once a week to a Technical College to learn how to use hand tools, ie, a handsaw, square, chisel, marking knife, hammer, nail punch, spoke-shave and hand planes.

Some 16 years later I started going to night classes at Secondary Schools, first in my home town and later in Wellington at Wellington High School, Onslow and Newlands Colleges. I continued this for another 20 years after which my tool box enabled me to work from home.

During this time I made beds, book cases, tables, toys, a full size drop side cot, radio gram and two speaker cabinets, stools and did home maintenance work. When challenged to make a nest of three tables with turned legs the night class Supervisor said "there is the lathe, go to it." He gave me some help to fit a square length of timber on to the lathe and showed me how to turn it to a cylinder using a spindle roughing gouge. No other tuition was given but the results were satisfactory.

When getting towards retirement, a colleague suggested I needed to have a reason to get out of bed each day. With this in mind I attended Newlands College to try woodturning and decided that I rather liked it but I had much to learn, which I am still doing with the help and guidance of other Guild members and reading Woodturning Magazines from NZ, England and the USA.

In 1998 I purchased a Teknatool 3000 lathe and chisels and have continued turning ever since but for some time now family commitments have curtailed my lathe time.

During the past 17 years my work includes bowls, platters, clocks, pens and pencils, jewellery stands, kitchen and household items and toys.

I consider woodworking to be a disease which when you get the bug it is incurable and I only wish that I had started many years before I did.

See a selection of Peter's work in the Picture Gallery at

Peter Hughes.



Hugh initially began to explore the 'Craft' scene through pottery and then bone-carving. But in 1985, seeking some form of mental relief from the demands of college administration, he enrolled in a one-day woodturning course. Such was the immediate attraction to working with wood that he sold his potter's wheel on the following Tuesday and bought his first lathe, a Teknatool 1000, the following weekend. Eighteen months later he was selling his woodturning with "Craft promotions" - the first national travelling Craft Show.

It was a matter of 'selling to survive' and he quickly decided that if he wanted his hobby to pay for itself he needed to use embellishment techniques that would take pieces beyond the 'round and brown' and attract the attention of potential customers. Hence the early and ongoing commitment to 'Enhanced Domestic-ware'. Attractive, well designed and well finished bowls and platters became his mainstay with each piece a celebration of the wood being used. Strong grain could speak for itself but quieter grain could be enhanced by texturing, colouring, pyrography or other forms of embellishment. Each finished piece was unique but still obviously a fruit or salad bowl that could be both utilitarian and a centre piece to be admired on a dining room table or sideboard. For Hugh one of the highest compliments is when a potential customer says of one of his pieces, "This is too good to be used."

In 2000 Hugh decided to leave the Craft Fair scene and set up a continuing relationship with CRAFTWORLD (known as NZIQUE in Lower Hutt). He retired from teaching in 2007 after working in Hutt Valley secondary schools for over 40 years and now is happy working almost full time supplying four outlets in the Wellington area with his woodturning. He has been teaching woodturning two nights a week for 15 years and demonstrates regularly, primarily to members of the Wellington Guild of Woodworkers. One of the joys of woodturning for Hugh is that it is continuously evolving with new techniques and equipment pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

Hugh primarily uses native New Zealand timbers and attempts to reflect in the pieces he creates from these timbers his Maori heritage and, combined with the use of tapa cloth patterns to decorate his work, our place in the Pacific.

Hugh has also served on the Guild Committee for many years and has been responsible for organising craft shows enabling Guild Members to display and sell their wares.

See a selection of Hugh's work at Hugh Mill (Woodturning).



My name is Tony Pemberton, born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand in 1950. I went to school in Taita, served a Tool making apprenticeship with Simon Metal Products then spent 10 years in the drawing office. After this I went into Research & Development in the Medical & Dental area. When this company down sized I went back to tool making with a plastic injection moulding company.

In 1996 I was looking for a hobby and a challenge; I had acquired a Myford Wood Lathe - type ML7. Then Bill Watson, (my boss) lent me a book "WOOD TURNING WIZARDRY." This was the challenge I needed. I worked my way through the book making the tools to make most of the balls illustrated. Then Bill lent me another book in 1997 called Principles & Practices of Ornamental Turning by John Jacob Holtzapffel. This book had the same affect as the first book he showed me and I have been making parts for my lathe ever since.

Some of the parts I have made are:
  1. Drill chuck to fit on tool post.
  2. Eccentric cutter for tool post.
  3. Slide rest
  4. Drill.
  5. Universal cutting frame.
  6. Eccentric cutting frame.
  7. Oval chuck.

In October 1998 I won a scholarship from the National Association of Woodworkers to go to the "LYNN HISTORICAL WOODWORKING TRUST MUSEUM" in Ashburton for a week to learn from Bob Lynn all I could on Ornamental Turning. I visited many people, took many photos and a video of the museum. I am now using these as references when making tools and doing wood turning.

In September 2000 I entered two pieces of Ornamental Turning in the National Wood skills Festival at Kawerau, and won 1st and 2nd prizes in this section.

I came across a picture in a book "Ornamental Turning." By T.D ALSWHAW of a French swash plate turning lathe of 1790. With what I had seen and learnt in Ashburton I thought I could combine the principles of this lathe and the other types of lathes together to make one lathe to do most of what I wanted to do in Ornamental Turning. I bought a SouthBen lathe bed and head stock casting. By putting Linier Bearings in the head stock, turning up the main shaft with the same thread as the Myford lathe allows me to move chucks and work between lathes, Also all the attachments can be used on both lathes, saving me having to make them twice.

Each time I make something new for my lathes and start to learn how to use them it sends me off in a different direction of Ornamental Turning. This is what makes my hobby so interesting.

My ambition is to have made all the attachments I need by the time I retire, then I will be able to go out to my shed and create all day long.

See a selection of Tony's work at Tony Pemberton (Ornamental Turning).



Archie is an exceptionally talented carver who has been producing work since the 1980s when he joined the Guild of Woodworkers. His skills have been acknowledged through winning a number of regional and local competitions.

He mostly enjoys carving in the round but has worked on low relief, lettering and chip carving. Sharpening chisels and gouges has been an important skill to master.

His main challenge is thinking up ideas for new pieces of work and the occasional commission is always welcome. In general, his focus has been on patterns from nature such as broken shells from the beach, birds and other animals, as well as unashamedly trying designs from expert sculptors and carvers.

Producing wig stands for people undergoing chemotherapy has meant using all sorts of these ideas for a useful purpose. His oldest grand-daughter quickly summed up the essential requirements of these and produced a range of great designs for him.

Archie has been a Guild Committee member and also served a term as President. He was instrumental in establishing the Naenae MENZ Shed and is its President.

See a selection of Archie's work at Archie Kerr (Carving).



John has been an active member of the Guild since 1985. He is currently the hard-working Secretary and has undertaken that role since 2007. He is a past President and Vice President. In fact he has served on the Committee in one role or another for over 30 years. He is also a Member and Trustee of the Naenae MENZ Shed. John firmly believes the more you put into an organisation, the more you get out of it. He credits his woodworking skills to the many experts he has associated with over the years.

John has been woodworking for over 35 years. First as a toy maker and turner. Since retirement he has had to time to specialise in the carving of small Netsuke-like figures on larger works such as walking stick and wood working planes. He is able to say proudly that in many cases he grows the wood used, makes the tools to do the work as well as doing the carving. The major influences in his work are the philosophies, techniques and tools of Japanese master craftsmen. The development of the wisdom to look inside the wood for inspiration and to enjoy bringing mind, eyes and hands together to create amazing work will be an ongoing journey for the rest of his life.

Currently working with the Guild's Carving Sub-Group providing carving lessons at the Naenae Menz Shed on the third Tuesday evening of each month where anyone is welcome to attend. He also teaches furniture making, turning and carving at Tawa College on a Wednesday night.

His carving and indeed all his work is of the highest quality - from concept to realised design to finished object. John is always willing to encourage others in the fine art as evident in the pictures taken at the "Turnings Plus" exhibition at Pataka this year.

See a selection of John's work in the Picture Gallery at John Spittal (Woodwork and Carving).