WHO WE ARE
Walker's Woodturning is a family-run woodwork business, based in the Manawatu, and run by husband and wife team Mike and Helen Walker. Mike is a skilled craftsman while Helen holds down the business front.
Mike was born and bred on a sheep and beef farm in the King Country. His passion for woodturning began with many childhood hours spent turning with his grandfather.
This love of working with wood meant he spent a lot of time in the woodwork department at high school. He was first in his class in both woodwork and metalwork throughout his high school tuition and holds NCEA qualifications in both subjects. High school was a long time ago now though… and he's since become a trainer for the National Certificate in Woodturning, an approved demonstrator for the National Association of Woodworkers New Zealand Ltd (NAW), and also offers woodturning tuition from his home workshop.
In 2002 Mike broke his back, and it was this that eventually led him to take up woodturning again in his adult years. Assisted by his wife Helen on the business front, Mike has worked hard to adapt traditional turning techniques to his needs, and as a result he’s competent at ambidextrous turning, and turning seated or standing.
Mike is strongly influenced by his agricultural background, but draws his inspiration for turning from all aspects of life around him. He thinks it’s important to change with the times, and is always looking for opportunities to learn and expand his own knowledge base.
WHAT WE MAKE
There’s essentially three aspects to our work – production work, commission work, and artistic work.
In other words we make a huge range of items!
Production work includes pizza wheels, cheese slices, bottle openers, and soap dishes – just to name a few.
Commission work is a little more exciting and varied. We love the associated challenge that accompanies such a request. SOme of our more exciting work includes refurbishing a 200 year old microscope, creating traditional tattooing tools, specialised household handles, vintage lawnmower rollers, a custom gear shift for a classic car, and even moulds for building a 3D rocket!!
Finally we also make artistic pieces – and this is the side of our work that really motivates and excites us. Our artistic work ranges from mini cowboy hats to be displayed, full size wooden cowboy hats that can be worn, through to extra large sculptural pieces for large foyers and entrance ways.
To sum it up we make woodturned items of all shapes and sizes, from purely artistic to everyday functional.
WHERE WE COME FROM
We are proud to be 5th Generation New Zealander's and identify strongly with our family heritage.
The Walker family resided in Selston, England until 1913 when John Thomas Walker and Sarah Dean emigrated to New Zealand aboard the SS Arawa. After disembarking in Wellington, they spent a short time in New Plymouth until they got their “farm Ballot”, at which point they moved to the King Country and began their lives farming at Mokauiti, and later Te Kuiti. Both farms are still held within the family.
The family motto "Cura et Industria", which means "by care and industry", sums up our attitude towards our work. For this reason, the Walker Family Crest forms the basis of our business logo.
WHERE TO VIEW OUR WORK
Feilding and District Art Centre, Feilding
Fat Rabbit, Marton
And...selected gift stores around New Zealand