However, you can still see the range of courses and events we offered – enjoy browsing for now!

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Five day courses: Monday 7 – Friday 11 May 2018

• Making a windsor chair  ** FULL **

• Harakeke / Flax Weaving ** FULL **

• Watercolour painting  not many left!

• Mastering your Digital Camera  not many left! 

• Painting and Drawing  not many left! 

• creating a children’s picture book not many left!



201. Making a Windsor Chair

Tutor: Richard Hare | Fee: $500

A Windsor chair has a sculpted, solid timber seat to which the legs (usually turned) are joined from below. The top, consisting of spindles and a steam-bent back, is joined to the seat from above. Windsor chairs were produced in great numbers during the 18th century in Britain and North America.

You will be making this chair using hand tools and pre-Industrial Revolution techniques. Starting with a freshly felled log, you’ll split out stretchers, legs and spindles and use a foot-operated pole lathe to turn the legs and stretchers. You will steam-bend the back bow and bore and shape the solid elm seat, using traditional tools. Finally, you'll put it all together – and we’re sure it will become a family heirloom. While this is a fairly demanding project physically, Richard has successfully taught people aged from 16 to 82 years.

Richard's Bio

With a background in (and passion for) building and furniture making, Richard attended a greenwood chair-making workshop at Ironbridge, England in 1995. He became passionate about these chairs, the methods of making them and the tools used. In 1998, he established Traditional Greenwood Chairs and, along with other woodwork, has crafted close to 700 of these chairs and taught nearly 200 people at workshops throughout the South Island, Australia and Norfolk Island.

202. Harakeke/ Flax Weaving

Tutor: Kahutoi Te Kanawa | Fee: $450

Learn the craft of harakeke weaving—an opportunity to take advantage of the availability of harakeke throughout New Zealand. Commonly known as New Zealand flax, it’s a natural material used by Maori for cloak weaving, basketry and binding. It is also a medicinal plant. 

The harakeke workshop will first cover techniques of harvesting the leaves and preparing them for use. You will then learn three or four plaiting techniques before making a kono (food basket) and two types of kete (basket).

This workshop is for beginners, but you’ll be able to build on what you’ve learned, using both your plaiting and weaving skills to produce functional kete. This is a hands-on workshop which will also extend your knowledge of the history of raranga (weaving) from one of the most skilled proponents of the art in this country.

Kahutoi's bio

Kahutoi is the twelfth child of Dr Diggeress Te Kanawa and Tangitehau Te Kanawa. Her tribal affiliations are Ngati Maniapoto, Waikato, Tuwharetoa and Rarua. She is a weaving artist and educator, and has held positions as a teacher, senior lecturer, project manager, coordinator, researcher and curriculum developer over the past 30 years of her career.

Kahutoi has been weaving for most of her life, learning these skills from her grandmother, Dame Rangimarie Hetet, and her mother.

Kahu has taught in several educational institutions throughout New Zealand and has exhibited and demonstrated nationally and internationally. She is currently completing her PhD on the intergenerational transfer of weaving knowledge.

203. Watercolour painting

Tutor: Jacky Pearson | Fee: $450

Watercolours are the most versatile of all the mediums. Beautiful light effects and flowing washes are achieved by loose and bold brush strokes and a good knowledge of control of pigment and water. Come along and ‘brush up’ on your skills using a variety of subjects: mountains, dramatic skies, boats and water, trees and figure. Jacky will cover the three important steps for creating a sense of space: atmospheric and linear perspective and stacking.

She will demonstrate techniques step by step and give you plenty of time to practice. Generally, you’ll create a full painting every day with build-up exercises each morning. To make the most of the beautiful landscape there will be an outdoor painting opportunity, and for early risers, optional sketching before breakfast on some days and a cafe warm-up afterward!

The course will suit all levels of painters, from beginners to experienced.

Jacky's Bio

Jacky is an experienced watercolour tutor teaching workshops around the world and in New Zealand where she lives. She is passionate about the beautiful light effects that can only be achieved through watercolours. She is easygoing and instructive allowing students to gain the confidence to master this wonderful and exciting medium. Her work features in many international books, calendars and magazines including the prestigious North American books Splash 11 and 16.

Jacky is frequently asked to judge art competitions and her work represents New Zealand in the International Watercolour Museum in Mexico. She is the recipient of numerous national and international awards. She has recently been filmed painting a portrait for an Australian TV series, Colour in Your Life, which was recently broadcast worldwide.

204. Mastering your Digital Camera

Tutor: David Wethey | Fee: $450

This course, suitable for all types of digital camera (including the camera in your cell phone), covers the features of your digital camera that will enhance your photographs. It describes the differences between a classic digital camera and a cell phone digital camera so that you know when to best use each one. 

Topics covered include shooting modes, resolution (image quality), ISO (the level of sensibility of your camera to light), use of flash, exposures and colour, composition of photographs (taken when photographing the local environment), and post-production evaluation.

This workshop is hands-on and it will provide the knowledge to use this technology with confidence and enjoyment. And most importantly, it’s fun!

Dave's bio

Dave Wethey runs an imaging and photography consultancy business in Queenstown and Christchurch. Previously, he spent almost thirty years in the newspaper industry, where he worked as a chief photographer, a specialist in digital imaging, and an illustrations editor.

He has taught at the University of Canterbury, at CPIT (Christchurch Polytechnic), and Aoraki Polytechnic. He currently tutors on the Post Graduate Media and Communication programme at the University of Canterbury. He supports photography in New Zealand as a judge, speaker, patron, advisor, and tutor.

205. Painting and Drawing

Tutor: Mandy Thomsett-Taylor | Fee: $450 | Extra materials: $50

This course aims to extend your experience and knowledge of drawing and painting. It has an exploratory focus and is suited to students of all levels. You will learn through visual presentations, studio-based workshops, and informal critiques.

You’ll learn a variety of painting and drawing methods and use a range of painting and drawing materials, surfaces, and approaches. Beginning with observational drawing, you will move towards the abstract. You will be encouraged to experiment and to develop an individual artistic voice as you learn about line, tonal values, composition and colour.

You will also study historical and contemporary examples of art, to see how the composition and narrative of the historical examples influence contemporary art practice. You will create a number of art works and will leave the course knowing how to use and combine materials and process to create your own style.

Mandy's Bio

Mandy Thomsett-Taylor has a Master of Art & Design Honours degree from AUT Auckland, and is a curatorial and gallery assistant at the Vivian Gallery in Matakana. She is a practicing artist and art educator, running classes from her studio at Mangawhai Heads.

206. creating a children’s picture book

Tutor: Gavin Bishop | Fee: $450 

Maurice Sendak (author of Where the Wild Things Are) says, "A picture book is not what most people think it is – an easy thing to read to very small children, with lots of pictures in it. It is very much like a complicated poetic form. And a picture book has to have that incredible, seamless look to it when it is finished. One stitch showing and you've lost the game."

This course will look at all the parts that go together to make a picture book – the story, the text, the design and the pictures. No previous experience is necessary and a lack of drawing skills could be an advantage. In other words – don’t be put off doing this course if you think you can’t draw. Come and have some fun!

Bring a ruler, a pencil and some paints or coloured pencils – whatever you like to use. And plenty of paper.

gavin's Bio

Gavin Bishop has published over 60 children’s books which have been translated into nine languages. He has also written the libretti for children’s ballets for the Royal New Zealand Ballet and written and designed for TV and the stage.

Gavin’s awards are too many to mention, but in 2000 he was awarded the Margaret Mahy medal for Services to Children's Literature(New Zealand's Highest Honour for Children's Literature); from 2013 to 2014 he was the President of Honour for the NZ Society of Authors, and in 2013 he was awarded the ONZM by the NZ Government for his services to literature.

Gavin’s most recent accolade was an Honorary Doctor of Education by the University of Canterbury.

207. Eco-dyEing and Felting TEXTILES

Tutor:  Marion van Oeveren

Fee: $450 for 5 days | Extra materials: $60

PLEASE NOTE: The eco-dyeing workshop is five days long – however, there is an option to do the first two days only if you are a beginner, or the last three days only for those with some experience.  

This very hands-on workshop will inspire students to work with natural fibres and dye materials. You'll be amazed by the potential of centuries-old crafts and how you can apply ancient techniques in a contemporary way.

In the first two days of the workshop, you will learn an array of techniques and make a scarf, a small bag and lots of samples. You'll make felt, dye-baths and eco-prints and learn how to make the colours last, and you'll discover other techniques such as layering and printing.

In the latter days of the workshop, students will be encouraged to use their own artistic vision and integrate these new learned skills in projects of your choice. You will design, felt and eco-dye one or more unique, handmade creations. Your finished work will show skill and will reflect your own personal style and flair.

Be prepared to be blown away by the potential of felting and eco-dyeing! Some of the participants of the 2017 workshop are completely hooked – two participants have now started to sell their work.

This class is suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience in fibre crafts and textiles.

Marion's Bio

Marion van Oeveren is a felt and eco-dye artist from Nelson. She provides workshops from her studio at the family’s alpaca farm. Her passion is to take people on a journey of discovery with simple and natural materials. Marion uses local fibres as well as recycled materials and makes one-off items such as clothing, scarves and bags. She grows her own eco-dye plants and collects materials from whatever area she is staying in.  

Marion has been working with fibre and plants since she was a student and has been trained by well-known textile artists from New Zealand and overseas. She finds that her part-time work as a dietitian, her passion for organic gardening and working with natural fibres and dye plants all complement each other.

Marion exhibits at Creative Fibre events and will bring a selection of her work to Matakana.