Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The House that Bob Made!

Quite soon after I began my unexpected stay in Auckland, a wood worker called Bob, contacted me.


Bob has a blog with the rather intriguing name, perception panels and he has been quietly following my progress for a little while. When he read of what had happened to me, Bob kindly got in touch and offered to take me out for a few hours and show me some of Auckland.

Central Auckland is watched over by the iconic Sky Tower.

Iconic sights like the Harbour bridge, and the Sky tower, slid past the car, and the bustle of this small, sun washed city, was cheering and colourful. Auckland is blessed by being near water. You can't help but be aware of the sea, as it seems to appear around every corner. People love water here.

A bay full of bustle. P class dingy sailors return to dry land.

The harbour bristles with cocktail stick-like masts of sailing boats. Sandy bays bustle with children learning to sail 8 foot long P class dingies.

Further out at sea "real" yachts race against each other, and large container vessels, and fishing boats slide across the water.

Bob's handiwork is simple, useful, and elegant.

I asked Bob if I could see some of the work that he does with wood. Some crafts people make work that almost shouts... "look at me... I am hand made!" Bob's work is quieter, and is all the more impressive for that.

In use, but still with some finishing to be done on the draw,
this lovely table is patterned with wood veneer.

Slowly it dawned to me, as Bob showed me around his house, that the furniture, book case, small tables, even the frame around a painting, were all made by him. The house too, as it turned out!

A six sided table with three slender legs.

The legs taper and have a subtle change of thickness from top to bottom too.

Bob's furniture had clean, simple lines, and fitted into the sunny, contemporary spaces that he had created. Bob often enhances what he makes with veneers, and I am interested to discover that he is a craftsman that designs by making and looking at what is being made, rather than making from a design.

The patterned drawer is awaiting varnish.

The inlay of veneer on the top of a cabinet or table, may have suggested itself after living with a newly made piece for a few days. Living in a city where boat building is a major activity, Bob has access to some rather exciting timbers, offcuts from the boat building trade.

Bob also has been developing a process for making fibreglass panels, with raised designs. These, he incorporates into doors, or makes them as artwork to hang on a wall.

The Panel is made from fibreglass. The fibreglass is coloured with metal oxides.

He described the process for me, and some of the challenges that he had to find solutions to, and I was impressed. To get to the point that he is at now with the fibreglass panels has taken him four years.

Bob arrived in New Zealand the same year as I did, 1976, and it was fun to find many things in common. I was really touched by Bob's thoughtfulness in getting in touch with me, and we had a very enjoyable few hours. Who knows, I might even get him interested in Linux operating systems!! A subject that I dropped into conversation over coffee!

You might like to see more of Bob's work at his blog, Perception Panels.


Linda Starr said...

wow, Gary is dragging me away to the beach here in Charleston, but that sky tower is cool and the rest, back later to read all about it.

Arkansas Patti said...

What a stroke of luck to meet Bob and to visit with another kind of artist.
He really does beautiful work, that table was amazing.
Somehow you have been able to salvage some really neat experiences out of an aborted one. Way to go Peter.
I will go visit Bob now.

srgb said...

Peter I am stuck for words the photos are just wonderful and such kind words, I had enjoyed following your blog and now with the enjoyable few hours together and the exposure on your blog, well I think you deserve more than just a "Date scone"
How are the ears feeling now? I keep wondering how Laura is managing and have you left her a good supply of pots to sell.
I wish you well.

Peter said...

Hi Linda, sounds like you are having fun over there. The British Contemporary Ceramics exhibition that you went to looked interesting.

Hi Patti,
Bob was so nice getting in touch like that, and it was a huge treat to be able to meet up with him and to see work that was made beautifully. I have been so fortunate this trip to have been treated with such kindness.

Hello Bob!
Lovely to hear from you, and any kind words from me about you are well deserved. Thank you so much for getting in touch. Regarding the ears... they are improving, and I'm hearing more, but one is still a little uncomfortable, and I won't be flying any time soon. Laura's getting good at Emailing..., we are going to have to share computer time when I get home again! Best Wishes, P.

Jewels said...

Hey Peter! I am sorry you have had so much trouble and were not able to make it here! I hope you are doing well now and have found your way back home! I was looking forward to your visit (as I know everyone was) but perhaps we can hope to see you next year. It is great that Bob reached out to you to show you around Aukland – his work is gorgeous! My pottery studio is still being neglected as is my blog, but I am doing better every day and it won’t be long before I am back. All the best to you and Laura!

Peter said...

Hi Jewels,
Good to hear from you. I am so sorry that I didn't get to meet you this time, you have often been in my thoughts. I am glad that you are getting better, it has been a long, hard road for you. I'm not home yet, and will be around Auckland for a little while longer. I went out to the opening of a pottery exhibition last night, and met a few of the potters. I hope to go to another exhibition tomorrow.
Kind and healing thoughts, P.

Kitty Shepherd said...

This will cheer you up....Verification Vocabulary is back!!!!

Pat - Arkansas said...

Bob is as kind and thoughtful as his hand-crafted wood (and fibreglass) is beautiful. Thanks for sharing his lovely work with us.

Glad to hear you are improving and being able to experience and enjoy some of the Auckland and environs.

Kudos to Laura on her increasing computer use. It's lovely that she doesn't have to use the perhaps expensive telephone system to stay in touch with you.

Take care. Stay in touch.

Peter said...

Hi Kitty,
whoopeeeeeeee! I'll dive on over to the strange world of vocabulary as it might have been..., and could still become!

Hello Pat,
I Must post some photos of the two cats that are part of life where I am staying, I think you would love them. Ziggy (the younger of the two) has been known to sleep on my head at night! I'm off to see some pottery today at an exhibition quite close to here, so it should be an interesting day.
Must dash, P