Presented by: The Incubator Creative Hub
Workshop 2 – Beginner’s carving using soap
Tutor: Mike Matchitt
As part of the 2020 Tauranga Moana Matariki calendar of events The Incubator Creative Hub is proud to be presenting a series of workshops celebrating Maori artists and their art forms. This series of online tutorials have been made available by support from the Tauranga Creative Communities Scheme.
Explore and learn traditional Māori carving techniques
This workshop looks at what is important when making taonga. You will explore traditional whakairo rākau (wood carving) through using soap, and study the contributions made by generations of tohunga whakairo and ways we can all contribute to the story. Whakairo is a language that transforms Māori cultural ideals into a physical form. It is to explore the mood and āhua (look) of a piece.
Suitable Ages: Intermediate/High School Children
The story of a Michael Matchitt – Tohunga Whakairo
Proudly part of a legacy of whakairo, Michael descends from Te Whānau ā Te Ēhutu and Te Whānau ā Apanui – iwi recognised for their contributions not only to whakairo but also to teaching and the arts. A series of chance events helped him to see that the creativity so prevalent in his tīpuna could be channeled into him becoming a master carver and a teacher.
It was at the marae as a young boy that he became immersed in the Māori language in its carved form as he gazed up at the elaborately carved wharenui. He graduated with honours from Te Puia (The Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua) in 1988, becoming part of an elite group of carvers steeped in traditional methods and knowledge. And that work has been his lifelong career.
Now living in Hamilton, it’s the values, symbols, and history that Michael preserves in his work that are his contribution to communities. Like his grandfather before him constantly serving, Michael sees his work as a continuation of the contributions of generations of tohunga whakairo, “meeting the needs of the community. Telling the stories. Preserving histories. Promoting traditional values. Reminding us of what’s important. Providing taonga to celebrate and memorialise – taonga that can be handed down through generations.”
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