Neil Joynt

It all began when I was ten, and my grandfather, a furniture upholsterer, gave me a set of hand tools. This started me on a lifetime of discovering how to make stuff and the sense of achievement when you do it yourself.

My natural artistic bent developed in my high school art class and, in my teens, inspired by a teacher whose work I admired, I began making bronze and copper & wooden jewellery.

Then my craftwork took second place to becoming a fitter and turner, marriage and family. My love of wood continued in the gathering and drying of fallen native timbers. (My wife still complains that I have the worlds largest firewood supply).

About thirty-five years ago, wanting finials for the home I was building, l cobbled together my first lathe. Another home-built lathe followed. However, it wasn’t until 2005 that I found the time and space to turn an interest into a passion. I’m now on my fourth store bought lathe – a “Nova Orion”.
My earlier work used shape and form to showcase the natural colours and beautiful grains of the New Zealand native timbers that I prefer creating with. In the past few years, inspired by local and international wood artists, I have began enhancing my pieces with pyrography, texture, and colour. In my art, I am influenced by the Maori/Pacifica culture predominant in Tokoroa, the timber town I have lived in most of my adult life. There is also a Celtic twist to my banding and texturing. Even when I let the wood just speak for itself, I can’t help but put that little extra embellishment on the base or under a lid. Both a surprise for the buyer and an expression of myself.

So much wood, so many ideas, so little time! This bloke from Tok feels he has only just started on what he can achieve. The thrills of uncovering a spectacular pattern in the grain, an unexpected colour, the surprise of spalted wood never gets boring. And seeing a piece pass into appreciative (and now paying) hands is an added joy. My work is now in Scotland, South Africa, Japan, Canada and the States & Taiwan.

I am past president of the Putaruru Woodturners Club and regularly attends collaborations, events and workshops to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow woodcrafters. I exhibit and sell my work at several Waikato Galleries as well as through his website ( my work has won prizes at the Royal Easter Show, Franklin Art Awards and Kawerau Wood Festival Competition, and the Taupo Wood Turning Jamborees here in New Zealand.
My recent demonstrating has been at, the New Zealand Wood turning Symposium, Turnfest Symposium 2019, and 2023, as well as a complete tour of 30 clubs in New Zealand sponsored by the NAW (National Association of Woodworkers NZ).