An interview with Ngaire, the owner & designer of Burnt Offerings

I always find the work of other designers absolutely fascinating. Which is why I had a chat with Ngaire who has a wonderfully unique craft. She burns patterns into wood and etches onto glass to create the most stunning pieces.

This is Ngaire’s design story..

My name is Ngaire, I was born on a farm outside of Masterton.  My mother was very creative. She made all our clothes, took woodworking classes so she could make some furniture for the house, self taught herself leather work, but her passion was porcelain dolls. She made them from scratch with her own kiln and then dressed them from head to toe. She used to knit on bicycle spokes, so that the clothing was fine enough for the dolls. 

So we were brought up with the idea that “if you want something, make it, or make it work” - a real number 8 wire theory. 

I started my working career as a Hairdresser, travelled overseas, returned to Wellington and had many roles from a Wedding planner and events Manager, to a PA for one the Deputy Director Generals at the Ministry of Health!!! 

When I become pregnant for the first time, I had to give up work very early due to stress.  My husband works with metal all day and thought he would try woodturning as a hobby. In the shop we brought the lathe from, there was a poker machine – Burnt Offerings was born. 

As I had to rest and stay off my feet, I would burn onto wood. Over the years my style has developed to what it is now and my first child is now 17!!  The glass etching began as a present for Christmas from my husband. Again, I am self taught in this craft - I think the burning and etching compliment each other and designs will work with both mediums.

Are there any specific area you specialise in? And why did you choose this area?

My husband could not keep up with my demand for wooden items, so I went op shopping and found that there was an abundance of items at very reasonable prices.  I have continued doing this, as I love upcycling and also it means I can keep my prices reasonable, win win for everyone.

Does your art or design have a particular style?  Such as, Contemporary, French Country, Traditional, Modern, Scandinavian, or Eclectic?

My style has evolved from knowing what is going to look good once it is burnt or etched. But no it's not a particular style

Is there any particular colour palette that you use when you design?  How do current colour trends influence your design?

As my mediums do not use colour I am more influenced by shape.  I do love coloured glass and find most colours sell well, as the etching shows up better.

Does trend play a big part in your design? Can you please tell us more on why you do or do not follow a trend, and how do you find your customers respond to it? Who do you see as a trend leader in your industry?

I think you can’t help but be influenced by trends.  I recently burnt a stool with a hare design and that is because I had seen them everywhere. I also did the same with a stag skull, again because I saw it everywhere. 

At the end of the day I want my pieces to sell, so I try to create things people would like to buy. But generally speaking, I need to love it too.  I don’t believe there is anyone else in NZ burning and etching as their medium.

I really enjoyed finding out about Ngaire’s design journey. It is fascinating to see patterns used across so many mediums. It truly proves that we are only limited by our own imaginations.

If you want to check out some of Ngaire’s work, you can visit her website here https://www.burntofferingsnz.com/ .


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