I’m Josca Craig- Smith, I like old stuff- particularly bicycles and boats, stuff that looks old, or just simple, solid technical stuff that works well.

I dislike seeing good objects and materials thrown away or lying around in yards or warehouses, when I can see some un-realised potential within them. Much of what i create is made from recycled timber: from Auckland’s historic villa renovations, from offcuts, or from discarded antique furniture.

As a craftsperson with abilities in many materials and paradigms, I can make various small- scale, one- off solutions to custom fit your required function. Small furniture, bicycle restoration and customization, shelves, wooden boat repairs, community craft workshops, pet furniture, traditional English coracle building, and my own unique designed Victorian era sailing canoe are all examples of my scope.

I try to build with a sense of the thing having good bones, and what you see on the surface reflects honestly what it is made from. Where possible, I prefer to use materials that retain or gain aesthetic character as the thing is used, worn, weathered and scratched. Leather, oiled timber, raw metal.



2 thoughts on “About

  1. How are pulling out the staples on the first layer (and eventually the second) without marring the wood? Most books on the topic recommend stapling through little throw away scraps of wood.
    L’Artemis (the boat i grew up on) was double diagonal, but riveted together – no glue – with angelique atd purple heart. You can see a picture on my blog of this boat in an older post.

    1. The method with the little scraps of wood is good, but very time consuming and makes a struggle in my case to keep everything tight and fair. Before I started planking, I bought a staple remover made by Rapid, Sweden-it has an ingenious design which grips the staple and lifts both legs of the staple with almost no breakages. It proved so effective that I didn’t worry about scrap wood patches after the first few staples. It does leave a dent in the cedar, but it doesn’t bother me at all, considering the outside of the boat will be clad in GRP. What does bother me is the oncoming job of cleaning up the splinters and glue drips on the inside of the hull, which will be resin- coated and matte varnished.

      New Zealand has an interesting history of many double- skin and triple- skin yachts of the late 19th century, of particular fame, the Logan Brothers’ yachts.
      They used our now devastated stocks of Kauri timber, an exceptionally stable coniferous wood, riveted together over light stringers, presumably with layers of tarred canvas between.

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