0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Check Out Continue Shopping
    Free Shipping NZ Wide | click to see international rates


    Traditional trade axes brought to Life

    Blacksmith Robert Pinkney and carver Michael Matchitt have combined their talents to produce a series of ‘Trade Axes’ similar to ones used as exchange goods between Pakeha and Māori during earliest European contact in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

    Captain Cook is believed to have traded axe-heads with Māori and successive arrivals of explorers, whalers, early settlers and missionaries increasingly brought hafted axes specially manufactured for the purpose of trade. Prized both as implements and later as weapons Maori decoratively carved the handles to personalize them. Rob Pinkney, a trained blacksmith who was born and raised in Kohukohu, Hokianga, has based his six axe-heads on trade axes that were mass produced in Europe. Five are English styles with curved blades and one a French design with straighter cutting edge.

    They are forged in a coal fire from raw iron and left in their ‘just forged’ state, a technique called a ‘folding axe’, an early method of using iron and folding fire-welded steel into the blade to toughen the sharpened edge.

    The axe-heads created by Rob come to life when combined with wooden handles fashioned by Michael, each a hand-carved contemporary artwork blending traditional surface patterns and using materials available to early Māori. Michael explores handle shapes other than customary straight ones, his pātiti (short handled axe) and kakauroa (long handled axe) being a little longer than traditional trade axes. Michael uses hongoeka (lancewood) and jarrah to enhance the heads forged by Rob.

    Michael, who comes from a long line of traditional Maori carvers, trained at Te Puia (NZ Māori Arts and Craft Institute) and has taught traditional carving in schools around the country, is always interested in creative collaboration.

    Working together as Māori and Pakeha, each in their traditional role, Michael Matchitt and Rob Pinkney aim to highlight the positive relationship of our cultures in Aotearoa/New Zealand and also salute an important implement in early Pakeha-Māori interactions, the trade axe.

    The inaugural exhibition of these trade axes in Village Arts gallery Kohukohu, Rob's 'home gallery', is from 13 June – 23 July, the perfect compliment to Jennifer Ashton's talk “At the Margin of Empire” about pioneer timber trader John Webster, happening at 2pm Saturday 13 June.

    Wally Hicks – Village Arts.

    Waikato Museum, Where to Now, 2013

    A journey of self-discovery through the use of form and media, to engage with a variety of ages and audiences.

    Through the interaction and reaction of every contributor, media, and facet of the work, the form, function and carver evolve.

    This exhibition showcases Michael Matchitt’s limited Blackwood Lead Crystal series.  Cast in lead crystal by glass artist Di Tocker from an original Matchitt whakairo rākau (wood carving), a second expression of the form is produced.  It takes on the qualities of the original totara fencepost, adding a chapter to the story of the piece.  These works explore the play of light over and through the textures of weathered wood and the marks of the artist’s chisel.  An absolutely exquisite gift of the highest quality, display your piece where the light can play on and through the glass.

    Included in the series are pieces depicting the separation of Rangi and Papa, various modern representations of traditional whakairo forms and surface patterns, and the powerful, feminine and ethereal Te Ehutu pieces, some of which are available to buy now on the site.

    Kura Gallery - World Cup Exhibition 2011

    An elite line up of Māori artists, will be showing their work with Kura Gallery from October 13 – 23, in the much publicized Waka Māori on Auckland’s waterfront and Rugby World Cup’s Fanzone.

    Sandy Adsett, Clive Fugill, Steve Gibbs, Gordon Hatfield, Ross Hemera, Moana Maniapoto, Hepi Maxwell, Baye Riddell, Paerau Corneal, Sonia Snowden, Colleen Waata-Urlich, Michael Matchitt, Cliff Whiting, and Robyn Kahukiwa will no doubt impress both local and international viewers. Long established, and located in both Auckland and Wellington, Kura Gallery owner Jude Dods and Vicky Thomas, manager of the Auckland gallery, say they have always valued the authenticity of works from Māori artists.

    As well as the line up of Māori artists showing in Waka Māori, others including Chris Bailey, Te Rongo Kirkwood and Carla Ruka, are showing artworks in the Eden Park Rugby World Cup VIP lounges as part of a TIKI and Rugby New Zealand 2011 coordinated project. Professor Bob Jahnke at Massey University, Sandy Adsett and TIKI trustees: Ata Te Kanawa, Editor of TU MAI magazine and Elizabeth Ellis secured the opportunity to work with Rugby New Zealand 2011 VIP coordinator, Jane Mather in early June.

    Using TIKI’s network, the project enlisted regional coordinators and curators to find artists with high quality artworks for display in VIP lounges across the country. And at the newly opened Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, the work of toi iho supported artists Ralph Hotere, Fred Graham, Arnold Wilson, Shane Cotton, Para Matchitt and Michael Parekowhai are being exhibited.

    Even the new Te Wao Nui at Auckland’s Zoo shows the works of Lyonel Grant, Manos Nathan and Bernard Makoare including the 7m tall sculpture at the entranceway. In his exhibition entitled ‘Re-patterning at Parnell Road’s ARTIS Gallery, toi iho advocate, furniture and interior artist, Carin Wilson presents his new work until Oct 13.