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John Spittal


John has been an active member of the Guild since 1985. He is a past President, Vice President and Secretery. 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.

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