“I am deeply interested in conservation and the sacred quality of plants and animals. Simultaneously I am fascinated by the cycles of consumption and violence that are inherent in natural systems. Being that these two concepts are somewhat at odds with each other, I feel compelled to create work that allows me to examine these concerns without having to find words or perfect answers. My hope is that the pieces convey a sense of our primal connection to our environment and evoke an awareness of its tenuous state.
Though I am not currently doing any large scale furniture pieces, it is something I still love and will always revisit. I graduated from the Professional Crafts Program at Haywood Community College in 2010 and have found the skills I attained there to be invaluable in all my pursuits.” -Melissa Engler
“I have always felt a natural affinity with wood and after twelve years working as radio technician I felt the need to do something more creative with my life. Originally I was drawn towards ‘free-form’ furniture as our bush block is littered with deadfall timber, the leftovers from the Kauri logging days of the early 1900’s However with the 1990 economy very depressed there was a limited market for original hand-crafted furniture. Fortunately, at that time I met a group of very creative wood turners and realized that there are endless creative possibilities to lathe work. I am mainly self- taught with a lot of advice and inspiration from many other wood turners. In my first four years or so of turning the emphasis was on using very decorative timber and applying simple form so as not to overshadow the natural beauty of the timber. While this is still a dominant factor in some of my work I now spend more time on creating pieces where my design is the dominant factor and using timber and other materials sympathetic with my designs, these pieces tell stories about who I am, where I live and the things in life that I am most passionate about. Major influences in my designs come from my natural surroundings, especially the sea and coastal environs, dreams and life experiences.” -Graeme Priddle