Esta Tonkin is a craftsperson who works with textiles. She has a background in science (ecology) and tertiary education, including teaching environmental management, and zero waste management, and is a Māma of two. Esta values compassion highly and is passionate about addressing issues of equity and inclusion in Aotearoa. She is really looking forward to pursing meaningful, values-based, creative work with our team and we are really excited to have her on board for the next year, while our current Manager Hannah Wilson Black is away on parental leave.
Our manager Hannah is taking a break from November with a pēpi on the way, and we are looking for someone to step into this role for 20 hour per week parental leave cover till 30 September 2023. This position involves working closely with our Workshop Coordinator, our Rekindle team of talented Craftspeople and Volunteers, our Board and Advisors, community groups, funders, and other stakeholders. The person we are looking for is a natural relationship builder and communicator, has experience balancing multi-faceted values-driven projects, a passion for resourcefulness, and is committed to continuing to develop the way we put Te Tiriti o Waitangi into practice. With multiple programmes on the go, and more in the pipelines, it’s set to be an exciting year. For more info, a full role description, and details of how to apply, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications close on 17 October, but please apply at your earliest convenience.
Rekindle is pleased to announce that it is heading south Labour Weekend to present a series of workshops in Ōtepoti Dunedin.
With 16 workshops on offer from 22-24 October, this is a chance for people to develop their craft skills or try their hand at making what we need from what we have around us, for the good of people and planet.
Eco-printing, making baskets and trays from foraged materials, felt-making, and spoon carving are some of the resourceful craft skills on offer. Through these workshops, Rekindle promotes the sense of purpose that comes with transforming local materials through skill sharing, and the care and connection to each other and the planet that is inherent in craft.
The classes are taught by experienced Ōtautahi Christchurch-based craft practitioners - Simone Bensdorp, Douglas Horrell, Diana Duncan and Gemma Stratton, all of whom teach these skills and many more at the Rekindle workshop at Te Matatiki Te Ora The Arts Centre in Christchurch.
The workshops are expected to be popular as Rekindle’s last southern sojourn in September 2020 sold out within days. Otago Polytechnic is the host for the weekend, while support from Res.Awesome has also enabled this trip.
Rekindle manager Hannah Wilson Black says, 'We're thrilled to be able to bring Rekindle resourceful craft workshops to Ōtepoti. We hope that through learning these new skills people will increase their awareness in their relationship with this planet and discover resourceful ways of utilising local and sustainable resources to make the things that they need.'
For listings and bookings; check out the website here.
We are so pleased to announce that we are now offering free and low-cost weekday resourceful craft workshops for Community Services Card holders and community groups who experience barriers to access, thanks to support from Creative New Zealand.
This is a chance to try your hand at printing, weaving, carving and more, and to experience the welllbeing that comes from making things, in a group, from the resources around us
If you hold a Community Services Card or a Supergold “combo” Card, visit the Resourceful Skills Workshops section of our website HERE, and look for the sessions with “Craft Opportunities” in their title.
If you are involved in a community group that works with people who experience financial hardship, mental distress, stigma, isolation and/or disability, or anything else that might make accessing our regular workshop programme difficult, please get in touch with us at email@example.com - we’d love to hear from you!
Many of the workshops are free, as all the tuition is subsidised (thanks again, CNZ!). Sometimes there is a small charge as we need to cover the cost of materials.
We are delighted to have employed experienced crafts people Diana Duncan, Mihi Adams and Simone Bensdorp to deliver these workshops at our workshop at The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora.
Such an exciting gathering on the banks of the Ōtākaro happening very soon!
Rekindle founder, Juliet Arnott is delighted to have been commissioned by Yo-Yo Ma as part of his Bach Project to evolve this special event to coincide with his visit to Ōtautahi Christchurch on November 13th.
Juliet is collaborating with Kerepeti Paraone (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hine), Te Pūtahi – Christchurch centre for architecture and city-making & Tier One Events to bring this event to life.
You are all invited to come & sit together on the banks of the Ōtākaro Avon River at lunchtime on Wed 13 November to acknowledge the rivers of Waitaha/Canterbury through song & weaving. While kairaranga weave harakeke, we will all sing waiata together, listen to karakia, stories & music that celebrate this life-sustaining water that connects us all.
This is part of Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach Project in Christchurch, which explores how culture actively shapes a better future, and involves Yo-Yo performing with talented musicians and weavers of Ōtautahi.
YOUR PART - LEARNING THE TWO WAIATA:
You can join in by learning the two waiata Purea Nei & Te Wai Tuku Kiri that we will sing together with these amazing musicians at the event. This link takes you to a document with both the lyrics & links to films of these beautiful waiata to practice with.
Wed 13 Nov // 12-1.15pm
211 Oxford Tce – on the banks of the Ōtākaro Avon River
Spoon carving requires three basic tools: an axe; a straight knife; and a curved “hook”, “crook” or “spoon” knife. These tools are useful in lots of other projects, and are a great asset for anyone getting started working with green wood. Availability of carving tools in New Zealand isn’t great, but there are options to buy locally without having to resort to ordering from overseas. It’s also true to say that you don’t need to buy the most expensive tools to start carving spoons, but as with all tools you’ll seldom regret buying good quality. Below, we’ll outline the basics of what makes a functional tool for carving, and where you can procure them.
The carving axe is used for roughing out shapes. It removes as much wood as possible before knives are employed. It has a wide bevel of around 8-10mm that enables it to slice the surface of the wood like a knife. As such carving axes are kept very sharp like a knife - unlike axes for splitting kindling).
Two carving axe patterns, showing cut-out behind blade – desirable but not a necessity.
Your first carving hatchet needn’t be expensive (mine cost $3 from a market), if you’re prepared to buy an old hatchet, take the time to file the wide bevel and sharpen it yourself. This method is discussed in greater detail in Rekindle’s sharpening class). A cheap hardware store hatchet like Bahco will also work, but some of the cheap ones may not hold a good edge. We stock a carving axe too. The best hatchet shape for carving has a long blade for slicing, and a cut-out behind the blade that allows the user to bring their fingers up behind the head of the axe and control it accurately during fine work. For most people the ideal weight is 500-700g.
Sources in NZ:
(Garage sales, markets or hardware stores for an axe that you can re-bevel and sharpen yourself.)
The straight knife is the woodcarving workhorse. It is used for a myriad of different jobs from roughing to fine detail work. It also has a wide, slicing bevel referred to as a “Scandinavian grind”. Most pocket knives don’t have this type of bevel and that makes them a poor substitute. Recommending a straight knife is easy - The Mora 106 is an excellent balance of value for money with a good quality knife, and it’s used extensively throughout the world by woodcarvers. We stock the Mora 106 in our online store.
Mora 106 straight knife
Sources in NZ:
Hook / crook / spoon knife
The hook knife is used to hollow the concave areas of carving - especially the bowls of spoons. A good hook knife has a compound curve - a shallower radius toward the handle, becoming a tighter hook toward the knife tip. Hook knives come in left and right-handed versions, and although experienced carvers use both, most beginners will be happy enough with a single knife for their dominant hand. Ideally, a hook knife blade should be thick enough not to “chatter” - flexing and vibrating in the cut as it slices through the wood. Hook knives in which the back of the blade is highly polished and rounded will tend to cut much more smoothly and naturally.
Various hook knives showing the range of curves and shapes available.
There are many options for buying a hook knife. There is also a correlation between price and functionality. Knives that have been cheaply mass-produced will seldom be as pleasant to use as a more expensive one produced by a small, artisan toolmaker. As such, Rekindle doesn’t recommend a particular hook knife but we suggest you do some reading and make a choice depending on your means and your level of interest. In Rekindle classes we use Hans Karlsson and Ben Orford knives (from Sweden and the UK respectively) which are closer to the artisan end of the spectrum.
As for what is available, Mora produce a cheap and readily available hook knife: the Mora 164. The previous model had well-known flaws, but the new, redesigned version of 2019 corrects some of these. These are the ones we stock. Robin Wood makes spoon knives that are at the midpoint of the market in terms of their balance of functionality and price. Other knives from a range of smaller makers are available online in specialist stores or from the makers themselves, and ordering from the latter will sometimes involve waiting times or waitlists.
Before choosing a hook knife it’s worth reading this blogpost by Robin Wood that examines a number of different hook knives and how they work: http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/wood-craft-blog/2013/01/29/best-spoon-carving-knife-hook-knife/ (note that this was written in 2013 so there are now many more knives to choose from). There is also an up-to-date list of hook knife makers available in the Files section of the Spoon-Carving and Green Woodworking group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GreenWoodWork/, along with lots of advice and many differing opinions on which tools to buy.
Sources in NZ:
Sources outside NZ (international shipping costs apply!):
And many more...
Finally, it should be said that great tools don’t make a skilled carver. Time spent using your tools and learning how to sharpen them correctly will make the biggest difference to the quality of your work. We give advice on sharpening during our carving classes and look at these three tools specifically in our Sharpening class.
What a wonderful weekend at the Arts Centre in Ōtautahi Christchurch was had! Over 40 practitioners of necessary traditions spent the weekend demonstrating their resourceful skills. The reality of how it was to have these extraordinary group of practitioners together in one place was beyond our hopes, it felt like putting the tinder to a flame and the burst of energy & excitement in spontaneous & furry collaborations was evident in these moments:
A doll of Alex Yerks (woodcarver) made my Hilary Jean Tapper on Sunday 11 November 2018.
A shoe upper woven of harakeke by Tracey-Anne Cook for shoemaker Louise Ayling.
A spoon carved by Alex Yerks dyed with black carrot by Arina Terekhova.
These feel like the beginning of many enduring & enlivening pieces of work that strengthen relationships that keep us all practicing our necessary traditions.
As part of the inaugural festival in 2018 we are delighted to share with you this new fund which has been set up to fortify & grow the presence of resourceful craft in Aotearoa New Zealand.
This fund & it's impact is needed because as a society we are losing the ability to create what we need from what we have whilst caring for the local natural resources we rely on. To do this we need knowledge, skills & the practice of the necessary traditions which allow us to be kaitiaki or carers of the ecosystems we live within. This way we are all well & we are all connected.
Donations to this fund enable the following support:
This work has already begun with the Necessary Traditions festival 2018 giving over 40 resourceful practitioners the opportunity to share their practice with the general public. We have been able to bring these practitioners together to create a support network & to strengthen the identity of resourceful craft, and have provided specific support to enable their skills to be shared through workshops, talks & demonstrations.
We look forward to evaluating the impact of this event on these practitioners and sharing this with you.
We also look forward to working with more patrons who wish to have a part in fortifying & growing the presence of resourceful craft in Aotearoa New Zealand. As a patron of Necessary Traditions you can choose to: be consulted with on a regular basis regarding the direction of the fund, listed as a patron publicly, receive updates on the impact enabled by your donations, be a part of events, gain access to workshops, give advice, & get to know the practitioners we support.
The bank account for donations is: Rekindle 12-3147-0442675-01
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries regarding this.