country, and the straight weaver faces the 
competition of the machine. The more skilIed the 
craftsman becomes the more closely the work may 
resemble that of the machine, so that the weaver can 
be forced into very narrow fields. 
There are many skilIed Spinners and many 
craftworkers who have experimented with the native 
flora to produce a ränge of dyes,and a number of 
craftsmen are engaged in fabric printing. 
Needlework, embroidery and lacemaking societies 
are established in many districts working, so far, in 
the European traditions, and although there are 
competent workers in all these crafts there has not 
yet occurred that marriage of skill, design and 
aesthetic awareness that produces the great craft 
From the populär hobby of rock tumbling it is but a 
Step to cutting, grinding, carving and polishing. 
There is at hand a ränge of agate, jasper quartz and 
other stones, although precious stones of any great 
quality are not available. Jade, as we have already 
said, is abundant and the studio worker can call on 
the Maori traditions of a thousand years. There are 
several promising workers in this field, some 
producing pendants in the Maori tradition, others 
making jewellery in the styles of today. 
Apart from the carved meeting house which is 
indeed a flourishing and developing craft, New 
Zealand has not as yet produced distinctive schools 
of woodworking, and there is not, as in Northern 
Europe a style of fine furniture or cabinetmaking, 
although some fine bowls are being made from native 
timbers and some well finished looms and spinning 
wheels to supply local demand. 
Many other crafts are practised: glass working, 
ivory carving, metalwork, bookbinding, paper making 
and leather work, but these are the work mostly of 
isolated workers. There is a lack of craft training 
schools but the native New Zealander firmly believes 
that what anyone eise does, he also can do. There is, 
however, a growing realisation that the teaching of 
higher skills is needed and an increasing number of 
New Zealanders go overseas for this training; we 
gladly accept into our craft community trained people 
from overseas in a visiting and in a permanent 
This exhibition consists of some 90 pieces, 
produced by craft workers of the many different races 
who today form our composite New Zealand society. 
Some crafts number their workers in thousands, 
others may have only one or two practising. Most 
crafts have a New Zealand background of less than 
thirty years and only one in the Exhibition, Maori 
weaving and plaiting, has a continuous background, 
in this case some thousand years. Therefore, it 
should be made clear that this Exhibition does not 
Show the extent and depth of the crafts in New 
Zealand: it merely puts together a collection of 
outstanding craft work of New Zealand today. It 
displays mainly the work of Professional craftsmen 
but there is in the background a very large group of 
people working at a craft as a hobby who often 
achieve work of outstanding quality. The presence of 
these people in the community cannot help but 
increase the general awareness of good craft work, 
and encourage the production of such fine objects as 
those shown in this Exhibition which has been 
presented by the Government to mark a tremendous 
first period of development and expansion of the 
crafts in New Zealand. 
T.J. Bayliss 
Curator of Applied Arts 
Auckland Institute and Museum


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