Grandpa's Workshop

artwork by Shawnee Kitson.

With a new family generation came the realisation that the years were catching up, yet little did Graham perceive the wonders of being a grandpa. Soon there were requests for workshop made toys and pieces of furniture for the grandchildren.

He constructed a John Deere farm trailer for the grandson's green ride-on tractor, with the sturdy wheels, hydraulic tipping tray and authentic colours. Soon the two year-old was hauling large rocks in his trailer, just like his father does in Greymouth.

Next came the request for an art centre for the grand daughter. Now this project had the creative license Graham thrives on. He designed a pre-schooler's table with a detachable top that hinged up into an art easel. Graham commissioned some baby zoo animal decals and the senior student's work was amazing. He chose the yellow giraffe's head and had it professionally printed by a sign writer. With the eye-catching decal on one side and a blackboard of the same animal shape on the reverse of the A-frame easel. He completed the concept with trough-like art partitions at the ends of the table base and a sliding compartment to store away disposable items out of grand daughter's gaze.

The process of developing and manufacturing the unique piece of preschool furniture sparked the thought of marketing the item.

Hence the overall concept of Grandpa's workshop.

Art Centre

Your choice of baby zoo animal - below.





3d Puzzle Concept - NZ Timbers

Another concept of Graham's was born out of his wood business as he was processing woodturning blocks over a firewood season. There were too many amazing timber grains being wasted in the firewood heap. So he began cutting thousands of 50mm cube blocks, representing dozens of New Zealand species - of both native and exotic origin.

His thoughts turned to the game of scrabble and soon the ‘3D' idea took off. Graham sanded the blocks to a uniform size and stamped the six surfaces with randomly generated alphabet letters. After a coat of oil and a suitable presentation box he showed his secondary classes. The response was astonishing with even the least academically able to negotiate their way around the words formed on a table top. The educational game soon showed its potential with a Maori version added to the series and enthralling the pundits.

Graham has the timber blocks and concept awaiting a partner with promotional skills to manufacture and market the product. There has been genuine interest from Educational Services - a provider of accessories to the entire education system.

The wooden blocks have a beautiful feeling to the touch, unlike anything made of plastic.


Oversized Wooden Toys