Saturday, February 20, 2010

globetrotting: crafting at hell's gate

we began our second week in new zealand in rotorua, famous for their geothermal activity. during our last day there, we enjoyed the hell's gate geothermal park. little did we expect, the park ended with an optional craft activity!

we were given the opportunity to try a little wood carving, an important craft to the maori people. unfortunately, we didn't have so much time to learn about the tradition and history of maori wood-carving, but it was fun to try the craft.

we had a choice of the following designs. i chose a kiwi for the husband, and he chose a ponga for me. we were handed a little piece of wood with the image drawn on, plus a rubber mallet and chisel. the chisel had a v-shaped groove in it (images below). the maori wood-carving instructor gave us a brief demo and we were ready to test out our wood-carving skills.

various images of us at work below. notice the table we worked on. it has a little right angle set up where the piece of wood is placed so it won't slide around during the carving. also notice how the chisel is being held at a angle, firmly placed on the wood. you have to be careful not to apply too much pressure, otherwise the wood will start feathering (not an easy task). with the rubber mallet in the other hand, you tap at the end of the chisel. the angle of the chisel determines how deeply you carve. the instructor also taught us to move our bodies, not our hands when changing directions (i.e. while working around a curve).

the husband at work

nearly finished... and a good view of the chisel

my turn

hmm, ok, so it doesn't look like we will be master wood carvers anytime soon. i would have loved to stay longer and try to improve my skills, but we had other plans for the day- and i'm guessing i would have been kicked out after the second attempt anyway!


  1. Aww what do you mean? You did a great job with it! :D

  2. I'm just happy you didn't hurt yourself :)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...