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Bamboo workshop

The EcoCentre recently organised two Bamboo workshops, Judy Klaus attended one of them and reported back for us. (Photos by Judy & Paula Walker). Future workshops are being planned, let us know if you’re keen to come!

We gathered at John Kenderdine’s property at Lake Ngatu. A look around his property showed a large stand of bamboo and various items made from bamboo such as a Len Lye lookalike wind sculpture dominating the front garden bed. Smaller sculptures were made of split bamboo.

John had set up a shade canopy over the work bench where there was an array of tools to cut, split and smooth the bamboo. First there was a demonstration on how to use the tools and how to make objects such as a scoop or a rat trap!

Soon it was all hands on deck as we had a go. Although we all brought protective gloves because bamboo splinters easily we all took care and discarded the gloves. The feel of sanded and polished bamboo is so tactile – who wants to wear gloves. It was a hot day so any extra clothing was discarded.

“We loved our session/update on the bamboo. I totally look at this resource so much differently.” – Mata

Huge industrial looking circular geometric metal circles sat on the bench. These were used for splitting the bamboo into 2, 4 or 6 section. Very impressive and very effective. A small fence was the project for one person who split various bamboo stalks and had the fence taking shape before our eyes. Some people made straws (no more plastic straws yeah!) cleaning out the bamboo pith inside and smoothing edges with sandpaper, others made scoops for chicken food or in my case for flour as I am a bread maker. One artist was adventurous and made a bamboo easel with John’s help.

We had all taken food to share so it wasn’t long before we were gathered inside Johns lovely mud home to escape the heat, savouring some delicious home baked goodies and fresh fruit and salads and chatting about bamboo possibilities.

Then it was back outside to finish our projects but now with the enthusiasm for many more ideas of what we could make in the future – a water feature in the garden, a set of drinking vessels, a table and even thoughts to making a small outside gazebo.

There are so many possibilities for using bamboo as has been in the past for many Asian countries. We are only really discovering its potential here. Maybe a new bamboo industry in the Far North. We have the resources. We have the people and we have enthusiasm.

Thank you Kaitaia Eco Centre for another amazing workshop bringing people together, sharing ideas, learning new skills but most of all having fun. Thank you to John and all those that shared their knowledge and advice and support. Now to make another scoop. My one was admired by a friend so I had the pleasure of giving it to her.

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