Robert Niclas passion for artisan woodworking started when he was quite young. His father was an artist, musician and photographer. Due to his father being employed with an oil company, his family moved often, exposing Robert to a great variety of art forms from the Middle East, Europe, and around the Western States. After school he was in the Navy where he traveled around the Far East.
Robert met his New Zealand wife while they were living in Sweden. After marring they moved to New Zealand where Robert Attended Carrington Polytechnic completing the Trade Certificate and Advanced Trade Certificate in Furniture Making. He continued to work in all fields of wood work, building and renovation houses, creating furniture, wood carving, wood turning and boat building.
For the past 30 years Robert has been working on luxury yachts, making custom designed interiors and furniture, and this experience transfers to many of the pieces he makes in his own shop. Robert derives great joy from creating canoes, kayaks and rowboats as well.
Years ago, our family attended a Christmas concert. Geoffrey Castle was playing a 6 string electric violin originally made by Tucker Barrett. During the concert our youngest daughter looked up to me and asked, “Would you make me an electric violin just like Geoffrey Castle is playing.” This resulted in me doing a lot of research, including calling Tucker Barrett and asking permission to copy his violin. He told me he gleaned things from many others and was happy to let me copy his violin. As a result, our daughter now enjoys playing a six string electric violin. I am very grateful to our daughter asking for an electric violin as it has opened up a whole new area for me in my woodworking.
For several years, when I was working in the shop and would have the music playing, our horse would come to the door of the barn and just stand there. She would not come in, but just stand there with her head in the door opening. It was a special time.