Colonial Gumdiggers website



Two old gumdiggers outside their whare near the Wade/Silverdale.

Pen and Ink
Released as a limited edition of 250 numbered and signed prints on archival paper

Framed: 590mm x 493mm (23 1/4 in x 19 1/2 in)
Unframed: 482mm x 385mm (19 in x 15 1/4 in)

For fifty years, from about 1870 to 1920, the kauri gum industry was the major source of income for pioneer settlers north of Auckland. The gum was mostly exported to England where its primary use was in the manufacture of high-grade varnish. After 1910 vast quantities of poor quality gum chips were used in the production of linoleum.

These two old diggers set up camp somewhere near the Wade, now Silverdale, around the turn of the century. Their whare, more strongly built than most, is constructed of split kauri planks with a thatched roof of nikau fronds. Amongst their equipment seen here are a gum-spear, a Skelton gum spade, home-made haversacks, a bucket and a billy for brewing the tea.

Colonial Gumdiggers detail 


"Gumdiggers" is the first study in a series of six pen and ink drawings of New Zealand colonial life. 

To replicate the original artwork, the drawing has been printed using only black ink on archival quality paper. 


Framed Gumdiggers

Size framed: approx 590mm x 493mm

Celebrating New Zealand's pioneering history, the Colonial Collection limited edition prints are now available in a smart satin-black timbermoulding, with a square profile, and a generous cream mat around the pen and ink image.
Unframed prints are supplied gently rolled in a strong sealed tube that may be used for safe storage until a later date.   

Colonial Collection

Gumdiggers thumb     Homestead thumb      Working Horses thumb
"Gumdiggers"                                    "Homestead"                                 "Working Horses"
Under Way thumb         Team Work thumb          Panning on the Clutha thumb
          "Under Way"                                 "Team Work"                            "Panning on the Clutha"
For around fifteen years, up until the mid '90s, I worked almost exclusively in pen and ink using a stipple technique, known colloquially as "pointillism". My drawings, each taking hundreds of hours to complete, were done entirely in very fine dots using a 0.18mm hollow nib.

These six pieces in the Colonial Collection were the culmination of that period. The editions are limited to 250 numbered & signed prints on archival paper.
Each picture has a unique story and comes complete with its detailed history label on the back. 
The last of the remaining prints, including a handful of edition numbers and the full range of artist's proofs, have been made available with new framing. These can be purchased individually or as groups, with matching numbers, which can be arranged in various ways. 
Prices in $NZ
Framed: $350
Unframed: $250
New Zealand delivery included


Phone: 09 420 3308

International calls: +64 9 420 3308
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