Kevin Barrett and his 100 % Fat Boy work all made with a chainsaw and power tools. Photos / Warren Buckland
One of Kevin Barrett's a 100 % Fat Boy Furniture at The Rocks.
From left, Antz Warren, Abbey Fox-Barrett (Kevin's daughter) and Kevin Barrett.
I heard Kevin Barrett before I saw him.
I was walking in my neighbourhood and I could hear a chainsaw. As I walked past the next house I could see a man using the chainsaw on a hunk of wood. I also noticed some really cool wooden furniture in his yard.
Didn't want to be too nosey so I didn't stop.
A few weeks later I drove past and some amazing wooden carvings and furniture were for sale outside his house.
It was months before I had the chance to stop to talk to him. He happened to be in his yard without a chainsaw in his hand while I was out walking again.
I stopped to chat, asking about his beautiful furniture — that was months ago.
He has since moved from the neighbourhood but is still carving his 100 % Fat Boy Furniture.
Finally I caught up with him again this week after he returned from several months working in the South Island.
Kevin, who works in construction, says he learned how to carve with a chainsaw in Australia.
"I've been doing it now for 30 years and learned the art while building sheds and yards in Aussie.
"All my work is done with a chainsaw and power tools. I have a good mate Antz Warren who helps me."
They make everything from letterboxes to tables and chairs. If you've ever been into Breakers in Napier, you will be familiar with his work as Kevin made all their tables and the surfboards.
"One of my first jobs was for Shed 2. I made this massive seat and it's still there 20 years later.
"All of my work is unique and most of it has come to me through word of mouth.
"I love it. After a hard day's work it's what I do to relax. It's so satisfying to finish something that no one has ever seen before."
The talented carvers work mainly with Australian timber.
"We use Aussie hardwood such as blue gum, ironbark, as well as matai and rimu as it's easy to come by. My favourite is the Aussie timber crows ash - it carves like butter."
100 % Fat Boy art includes carvings, garden features, water features, bar stools and tables, and some of the most beautiful outdoor furniture I have ever seen.
Kevin is thinking about going to live in Australia during winter, returning home in the summer.
"That's all up in the air at the moment though with Covid. I'll just have to wait and see what happens."
In the meantime, he's busy working for a living and carving for pleasure.
You can see more of 100 % Fat Boy Furniture on Facbook: facebook.com/100-Fat-Boy-Furniture