Waimamaku might be a little off the beaten track, but it is a community rich in creative talent, much of which will go on public display at an artisans' fair in the Morrell's Cafe carpark and Waimamaku Hall on Sunday June 3, Queen's Birthday weekend, 10am to 3pm.

The fair will include exhibitions and demonstrations by local woodworkers and harakeke weavers, and stalls offering locally-produced art and craft works.

The organisers say there is a wide range of talent to be celebrated and showcased, the wood carvers and flax weavers, who are continuing a long tradition of such arts in the district, will be particularly strong.

"As some of the older artisans retire, their reputations and skills will pass as well, and the fair is to celebrate their work and contribution in local, national and international spheres," a spokesperson said.


"One participant of particular note is Allan Gale, who has lived at Waiotemarama for many years now, working in various media. Beginning with wood carving (bowls and platters), he later included chair-making, bone-carving and relief sculpture. These days he is famous for his multiblock engravings, which grace many a gallery.

Allan Gale is a multi-talented artist whose work includes much-admired wood carvings.
Allan Gale is a multi-talented artist whose work includes much-admired wood carvings.

"Allan's creativity has extended further, into the World of Wearable Arts, over several years. In 2007, he won the Man Unleashed section with his Ten-Breasted Suitcase.

"Pipi Rutherford will be there too. He found the Hokianga, and particularly Waimamaku and Waiotemarama, as a young man newly returned from the adventures of his 1960s and 70s OE.

"Over many years he made his living from carving — 'bread and butter' practical pieces (his famous spoons have graced most local kitchens and dining rooms, and many overseas too) — and art, some of which will be on display at the fair.

"Now a fixture in the area, Pipi has settled into a gentle retirement in the home he built and where he raised his family."


Anyone who would like to set up a stall to demonstrate or sell their work at the Waimamaku Artisans' Fair on June 3 will be welcome. Email myss.janet@gmail.com or phone Nadia on (022) 405-8679 for details. Check local Facebook pages for updates.