March 12, 2024

Whakatū Nelson, we are coming to you!

We are so excited to let you know that our team of highly skilled craftspeople are coming to you, in Whakatū Nelson, on tour this 23 & 24 March!
From wreath making to spoon carving, felting to brush making, we have a weekend full of craft workshops on offer. We want to share traditional craft practices that will provide you with new skills and a new relationship with local materials and the resources that are around you. This is a rare opportunity with some of our craftspeople visiting on tour from Ōtautahi and other parts of the motu, Gemma StrattonDouglas HorrellSimone BensdorpDiana Duncan in March, and Annie Mackenzie is coming in May.
Join us to learn new resourceful skills and find like-minded folks in your community. 
This is the main weekend that we will be in Whakatū Nelson for 2024, so don't miss out! 
Find a workshop and book your place here:
January 29, 2024

The Resourceful Craft 2024 programme has launched!

Haere mai ki Resourceful Craft 2024! A year-long programme of craft workshops teaching resourceful skills for the wellbeing of people and planet.

Resourceful Craft 2024 is an offshoot of Rekindle, being run as a separate project by a charitable entity. We, the tīma at Resource Craft 2024, are delighted to announce that our workshop programme, run with support from Creative New Zealand, has launched.

Workshops will be taught by the talented craftspeople you have come to know and love, in community venues across Ōtautahi Christchurch and in Rīkona Lincoln, and groups of craftspeople will tour to Whakatū Nelson as well as to Ōtepoti Dunedin. Private workshops will be available by arrangement.

You are in the right place - download our full programme here, or enrol through our workshop booking pages by location:

Ōtautahi Christchurch & Rīkona Lincoln
Whakatū Nelson
Ōtepoti Dunedin

We are also running Resourceful Craft Clubs, where you can practice your skills at our monthly club sessions. See more here.

We hope to have you join us for a resourceful craft experience this year.

March 17, 2023

We Are Hiring!

Do you have great communication skills and attention to detail? Do you like organising, working as part of a team and showing initiative? Do you feel strongly about the wellbeing of our planet and communities, and have an interest in the arts and cultural wellbeing?

Our workshop coordinator Ngaio is making room to pursue her toi practice, and so we are looking for someone to step into this role. This administrative position is 15 hours a week spread across the week working partly from the Rekindle workshop in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Duties include scheduling classes; liaising with craft tutors, other organisations and the public; listing workshops online and on Facebook; scheduling and posting on social media platforms; monitoring workshop sales; managing bookings and the website; answering queries from the public, and other tasks assigned by Rekindle’s Manager.

Please contact for a full role description before applying to make sure that this is a good fit.

Applications close on 31 March 2023.

December 23, 2022

Esta Tonkin appointed as interim Rekindle Manager

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.


September 29, 2022

Join our Rekindle whānau!

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 Applications close on 17 October, but please apply at your earliest convenience.

September 29, 2022

Rekindle in Ōtepoti Dunedin for Labour Weekend

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.


November 24, 2021

Rekindle's approach to the Covid traffic light system

With the approach of the government’s Covid-19 traffic light system, we wanted to share Rekindle’s policy with you all so that you have clarity and peace of mind when booking in for a future workshop.

We have taken the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, volunteers and members of the public into consideration, and thought carefully about how we can run workshops and deliver a fulfilling craft experience with a degree of certainty.

We have had a lot of discussion about this, as we have young children, vulnerable members of the population and those with elderly parents in our wider Rekindle family.

As we wish to operate as safely as possible, and protect the health of our communities, Rekindle will be running vaccinate mandated workshops from the implementation of the traffic light system, at all levels of the traffic light system.

This means that from Covid-19 traffic light system confirmation, anyone 12 and over attending a workshop at Rekindle must be fully vaccinated. Tutors teaching these classes are fully vaccinated.

Please note that medical exemptions are included in the vaccine passport programme.

We will review our policy in light of any new government mandates and as the situation evolves.

We are working hard to deliver some online workshops too, so that if you have chosen not to get the vaccine, or do not feel comfortable participating in publicly accessible workshops at this time, you can still participate.

We respect your personal choice as to whether or not you get the vaccine, and we ask that you respect ours. Be kind and stay safe.
November 01, 2021

Craft Opportunities Programme launch

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 - 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.

November 04, 2019

Waiata ki te wai / Songs for water - with Yo-Yo Ma's Bach Project

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.


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
Free event


June 24, 2019

Spoon-carving tools - buying advice!

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.

    Having your own tools isn’t necessary before coming to one of Rekindle’s classes, but our students often find that it’s useful to be able to practice and cement the skills they’ve learned during class at home afterwards. Our beginner spoons class uses only the hook and straight knives, while our advanced carving classes include the axe as well.
        Carving axe/hatchet

          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.)

            Straight knife

              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: (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:, 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.

                  1 2 3 7 Next »