We have a new addition to our Majacraft range of spinning wheels! The Luna is an innovative new wheel, designed to be so smooth it makes spinning a breeze. The extra stability of the inline design and our drive system combine to provide a lovely […]
Recently Suzy posted a picture of me (Andrew) on Facebook taking part in a health check of a Kiwi which quite a few people were interested in. I thought I would share a little more about this and show something I have recently been working on. Over the last year I have been involved with the Kiwi team in a conservation project overseen by Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust. I am out most weekends walking in a nearby forest and have found it both fascinating and incredibly rewarding.
About six months ago we were discussing the specialised boxes for transporting Kiwi and I suggested I could probably make something that would do the job well, certainly better than what we were currently using. Having access to some great materials and the laser engraver certainly gave me a leg up and away I went. The prototypes I made proved to work very well and have been noticed by other people involved in Kiwi conservation. We have found they are much lighter than comparable boxes so are easier to carry and the very precious Kiwi are able to be moved in a much safer and secure way. The following pictures are of a pair of boxes that I have made for one of the National Kiwi Hatcheries. This is around the 5th revision of the design and I am really proud of how they have turned out.
So the part that I thought would interest users of Majacraft tools is cross pollination of ideas. Many Majacraft innovations have come from the development and evolution of one idea being transferred to a new situation. These Kiwi boxes are a perfect example of this and in many ways, the spinners and artists who use Majacraft tools have a hand in these Kiwi boxes.
If you look carefully underneath, the boxes are resting on rubber feet that are used on our wheels and carders. The way the boxes clip together with tabs is based on a technique used in our building the jigs for making our wooden bobbins. It has some of our older pedal hinges for the lid (still have Majacraft engraved on them!). The handles for carrying it come from the blending boards. The vents are taken from some prototype weaving reeds I have made. Finally, the engraved designs were added thanks to the learnings from the custom wheels we have made over the years.
Several of the prototype boxes were used in the most recent Kiwi release that was attended by Ineke and Ans from the Netherlands who came to visit us at Majacraft which you can see in the following pictures.
Thanks to Dave Brown and Sheryl Petersen for the inspiration and feedback on the development of these boxes and Maddie Knibbs for her mad photography skills too. And finally thank you to the Majacraft people who set up the environment to create them!
A photographic look at the weekend! Each year our Majacraft Camp fills with the presence of wonderful spinners and fantastic teachers, all willing to share knowledge, ideas, and our passion for fibre art in every form. 2023 has been no exception! This year we welcomed […]
It is time to get your registrations in for 2023 Majacraft Magic retreat!
2023 Class Content:
Crimp Spin Ply with Pat Old – design yarn that matches the crimp of the fleece
Beyond one Batt with Janet Day (AU) – carding for a big project
Love Linen with Leigh Morris – spinning flax strick
Terrific Tweed with Judy Knipmeijer – how to spin a tweedy yarn
Also an evening presentation with Ineke and Ans de Brouwer from Tricky Thread Studio in the Netherlands – “Inspiration and how to find it.” Suzy Brown will have all our tools available with demos and a hands-on tools time for those who would like to brush up on their skills with fibre preparation – on Sunday after lunch.
With the rising costs of everything, we have had to bump up our camp fee a little this year. As usual, we try and keep our costs to a minimum to make it affordable for everyone. Our camp fee includes – your accommodation (all bedding and a towel), yummy food made by our wonderful chef Kendal, and class materials for the duration of our weekend together. Please make sure you fill out your registration and pay the deposit to secure your spot on our much-loved retreat, as spaces are limited.
Motels / Single rooms:
Motel units will be allocated on a first-in-first-served basis, but with a preference given to couples and those with special requirements. These come with an additional fee of $70 and have a bed configuration of a queen bed downstairs, and two single beds upstairs.
The Collings Lodge does have twin rooms – please indicate if you would like to share one of these with a friend. Again, this will be on a first-in-first-served with your registration and deposit. While we will do the very best we can with room allocation, we can’t guarantee everyone will get their first choice.
Additional nights stay:
For those that like to come a night early, or stay a night later, please book this directly with Pacific Park and make sure you mention you are with the Majacraft Spinning retreat. Jenny-Lynn’s contact details are – 07 5420018 firstname.lastname@example.org It’s quite possible that you will need to move accommodation from or to where we have allocated you for camp.
An onsite Café!
Pacific Park can now offer us barista-made coffees to purchase between 7:30-9am, and 12:30-2pm. This can be found opposite the Beach Lodge front entrance. Eftpos is available at the counter.
Where: Pacific Park Christian Holiday Camp, 1110 Papamoa Beach Road, Papamoa Beach https://pacificpark.co.nz
When: 1pm Friday 17th March – until 3pm Sunday 19th March. *please don’t turn up earlier than 1pm – you will be turned away at the gate.
Cost: $455 (all-inclusive price)
Download your registration form then email it to email@example.com
Places are limited!
We really enjoy creating custom wheels, each one is unique, and it is always an interesting exercise to turn a customer’s ideas and designs into something that will work on wood, and fit the shape of one of our wheels.
This is the story of one of our customisations, and one which we think turned out particularly well. This wheel belongs to Honnie Cameron (Australia), a hairdresser in Bendigo who wanted her wheel to blend with her surroundings in a prominent place in their new home, which is a mix of eclectic, mid century and rustic country. The request involved the placement of many cogwheels across the entire design. Here is one of the early images Andy developed to work from.
The designs always start out with the art work, which is then digitised in order to work on it along with the wheel ‘template’. From here it is refined and adapted as needed, until it is ready to go to the laser for creating the design in the wood itself.
Andrew might not say this himself, but over the years he has really mastered the use of the laser and can create some super intricate artworks with excellent control over depth and shade, it takes a lot of skill and knowledge to work in this way and to get more than simple lines and solid areas. Andrew is able to create dynamic depth and detail in the designs, which makes them a real work of art on a wheel.
Scroll through our gallery for more images of the Cogs and Gearswhee wheel!
As you can see, there is quite a process to creating a custom wheel, which also includes assembling the wheel with the artwork on, to make sure everything lines up and looks well balanced in its design as a finished wheel.
If you are interested in a customisation for your next Majacraft wheel, or if you would like to add some customised pieces to your existing wheel, do get in touch with your Majacraft Dealer with your ideas!