September 10, 2018

Necessary Traditions - our festival of resourceful craft

We are SO excited about our festival Necessary Traditions which will happen this November 2018 for the very first time. This event is based at the beautiful Arts Centre in central Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Necessary Traditions runs across a week from 8th to 17th November, with the main event across the weekend on the 10th & 11th, more details about the festival programme can be found here.

The main event is on Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 November and you’ll see these skilled people demonstrate their necessary traditions at the stunningly restored Arts Centre –

Shoemaking / Letterpress and Typesetting / Windsorchair making / Rag-rug making / Blacksmithing / Growing your own food / Willow basketwork / Pin-hole photography / Sourdough baking with local flours / Stonemasonry / Soap making and other household essentials / Cup, bowl and spoon carving / Hand-painted Sign-writing / Kintsugi / Reforestation / Tī kōuka weaving / Darning and Hand-sewn button-holes / Preservingand Fermenting / Heritage building techniques / Making clothes from reused cloth / Raranga Harakeke weaving / Bookbinding / Ceramics with local pigment and clay / Reupholstery / Spinning, Knitting & Crochet / Felting / Greenwood-working / Loom weaving / Mandolin making / Leatherworking / Candle making / and many more.

Huge gratitude to our festival supporters:

More information regarding the full programme, tickets & bookings coming very soon. Please join the Necessary Traditions mailing list here to receive updates, or visit the Necessary Traditions festival website here. From 17th September 2018 tickets for the festival will be sold here on our online store.

June 28, 2018

Free classes in our workshop at the Arts Centre!

With huge thanks to the Enliven Places Project Fund at Christchurch City Council, we are able to offer a series of free workshops during some weekdays starting from 6th August 2018. This funding has enabled us to begin to deliver these free workshops (at our previous central city site) and now to continue this in our new space at the Arts Centre.

Longer term, we plan to continue to offer some free workshops during the working week so to make experiences of resourceful craft accessible to everyone. We hope these workshops will especially enable those who couldn't contribute financially to the costs of our other workshops, or those who have a need for something meaningful to do during the working week. We have another charitable partner supporting us to do this in 2019 and we're excited to share news of that soon.

So please keep an eye on our Resourceful Skills Workshop page to see the dates of the free workshops as they come up. Booking is essential so we can prepare for the workshops. At this time they are mostly on Mondays and Tuesday at 1030am, please see below for a map of where to find the workshop.

June 11, 2018

Where is Rekindle at the Arts Centre? How to find us

Just in case you're wondering where you can find our workshop, we are in The Arts Centre in in the central city of Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. This is at 28 Worcester Boulevard, upstairs on Level 1 in the Boys' High Building. Please see the map below or click the link above to head to Google Maps.

We're upstairs above The Isite and the Department of Conservation Visitors Centre and Rollickin' Gellato. 

We're open 7 days a week, from 10am to 5pm.

June 01, 2018

Our latest project : Lincoln University & the Oak

It is a wonderful thing to find a place that echoes the intentions of your work, and we have found this in the Brandenburg Coppice at Lincoln University. You can read more about the history of the Coppice here.

Thanks to Lincoln University, Selwyn District Council, Creative Communities & Creative New Zealand we have run a workshop programme out in the Brandenburg Coppice across April & May 2018. It has been a wonderful time with new craftspeople leaving with smiles, satisfaction and a spoon or stool made from timber felled on the Lincoln University Campus. We've had people carving from age 5 to age 75.

These are a class of second year Landscape Architecture students after their day of greenwood stool making.

Some other happy stool makers. After a days hard work they went home with something which will last a generation or two or longer.

Some of our young spoon carvers starting their spoons and then oiling their finished spoons.

The film below summarises some aspects of this workshop series. 

We look forward to continuing to run workshops in this stunning woodland through collaboration with the University. We hope this will continue to contribute positively to the experience of Lincoln students and staff, both in terms of potential research  and in adding to a wonderful rich and engaged campus life.

Huge thanks to Steve Brailsford, Greg Quinn, Ruben Hull and Trent Hiles from our team who made this possible. Much gratitude to Nicola Furlong & Jessica Rae, staff at Lincoln University whose innovation made this possible. Major thanks also to: 

May 28, 2018

Our new workshop at the Arts Centre in Ōtautahi Christchurch

We are VERY happy to let you know that we are soon moving into the The Arts Centre in Ōtautahi Christchurch where we'll set up a Resourceful Skills workshop there. We are grateful to have the support of the Arts Centre and Life in Vacant Spaces to provide our Resourceful Ōtautahi workshops in the city centre. We’re looking forward to opening our doors from Monday June 11th 2018.

So a large bunch of new Resourceful Skills workshops at the Arts Centre have just gone up on our website. We’ll also be continuing to offer workshops out in the woods Lincoln University too.

Excited to have greenwood-working happening in the city and in the woods.

April 25, 2018

Peterborough Workshops paused until winter site confirmed

Hi folks!
Sadly we’ve had to press pause temporarily on running our workshops at Peterborough Street until we have found a good solution for wintering over (ie. working indoors), as the weather has been working against us.
We will have news in the second week of May re a new inner city site - exciting! Look forward to sharing this with you and to weaving & whittling with you again soon!
March 01, 2018

Our first Journal of Resourcefulness!

Limited edition of 100.

Published by Rekindle, with Editor Emma Johnson (of Freerange Press fame), Designer Cameron Ralston, with assistance of Gary Parker and the Ferrymead Printing Society. The cover was typeset on Leo Bensemann’s Diadem platen press.


We are waste-creating creatures by nature – we are part of ecosystems that rely on the degradation of waste for health. Yet our current rate of resource disposal is far beyond healthy, and this inculpates our consumption habits.

 In response to this growing problem, Rekindle’s new Journal of Resourcefulness series explores and celebrates resourcefulness as a vital frame of reference for addressing waste, wellbeing and planetary health.

Resourcefulness, or making what we need from what we have, involves a mutually beneficial, healthy relationship between earth and our species. The first edition of the Journal of Resourcefulness explores three main areas and the major projects aligned with Rekindle’s journey towards resourcefulness: waste and reuse, design as a solution, and resourcefulness itself. 

Rekindle is not alone on the journey, and this publication accordingly celebrates the work of a number of experts in this sphere. Among others, Matthew Luxon discusses solutions to waste and the economics behind these, Clare Brass looks at her work at the Royal College of Art London and demonstrates how it is possible to design with values, while Objectspace's own Kim Paton examines the role of craft in relation to consumer choice, and Dr Benita Wakefield describes the potency of mātauranga Māori in care for the earth. The journal brings together educators, environmental scientists, academics and industrial designers to consider resourcefulness from a number of view points.

The limited edition physical journal is unique - it has been printed on waste paper using a combination of digital and hand-printed elements. There is also an online digital document that people can view, print out (on waste paper) and assemble at home. 

The Journal of Resourcefulness is being launched to coincide with opening of Rekindle's Resource: Rise Again project opening in Objectspace's foyer gallery on March 2nd.

February 13, 2018

Inspiration for work on resourcefulness - Article on the Orkney Chair

Thanks to Dr Amy Twigger-Holroyd et al for this wonderful article - Wrestling with Tradition: Revitalising the Orkney Chair and Other Culturally Significant Crafts, 2017 in Design & Culture. This article refers to my amateur first attempt at an Orkney Chair and to the more recent stunning work by Gareth Neal & Kevin Gauld which I saw in 2014 at the New Craftsmen in London. 

The article is available to read in full here. This article sparked memories of the making of this chair...

In 2004 I saw my first Orkney chair at Kettles Yard and soon after I decided to drive from Norfolk where I was living, to the Orkney Isles to find out about this tradition. I didn’t have a plan, thought I could just head up there and find out.

And so I worked as a woofer at to Wheems  Farm with Christina & Mike. Then when I could I headed to the Corrigall Farm Museum and learned about the history of black oat straw and how extraordinary it’s multiplicity of uses was.

The volunteer at the museum suggested a give Harry Flett a call as he knew most about this, but as I drove off from the museum I saw some straw in stooks in a field and two older gentleman stacking it on their trailer.

I wandered out into the field and explained why I was there. They, Harry Flett & his friend, were completely un-phased by my random pilgrimage and set about helping me walk all about the field to select the best stooks for my first Orkney chair. He suggested I went and talked with Jackie Miller, one of the chair makers, and I did. I had a lovely few hours with Jackie & Marlene of Scapa Crafts and learnt much just by watching and talking. Then I headed to Marwick bay to harvest driftwood as was the tradition of years before when milled timber was scarce. With the oat straw & driftwood in the car I headed back to my studio in Norwich and spent a couple of weeks making my first chair. This chair & it’s origin and all of the resourcefulness inherent in this tradition are a huge part of why my work now focuses on resourcefulness i.e. making what we need from what we have.


- JA



February 12, 2018

Whole House Reuse wins best paper!

What wonderful news! The academic review of the impacts of Whole House Reuse written by Dr Atiq Zaman with support from Kate McIntyre & Juliet Arnott has won best paper at the ICSED 2017: 19th International Conference on Sustainable Environmental Development, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 11 - 12, 2017! This paper will be published in our first Journal of Resourcefulness being launched on March 2nd 2018 at Objectspace in Auckland. There will also be a launch on 6th March at The Arts Centre in Christchurch. So keep those dates in your diary...
January 15, 2018

Pop-up workshop on Peterborough Street open for 2018!

Happy new year!

Want to come and learn to make things from tī kōuka/cabbage tree leaves? Free sessions begin again this week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 12-4pm in our Pop-Up container workshop at 100 Peterborough Street, opposite the Peterborough Street Library. 
Bring your sunscreen & water, and don't wear your best clothes! Suitable for all ages. 

Thanks to Christchurch City Council and their Enliven Places Programme, and to Life in Vacant Spaces for making this possible.