About the Artist
Richard Thoms is a retired Marine Engineer of Scottish and Irish descent. He has a spiritual bond with Lake Rotoiti (South Island) and the surrounding mountains.
> His life commenced in Blenheim in 1955, as the middle child of three. As a child he spent a lot of his life at Lake Rotoiti, the family having property there. He’s always been interested in engineering in all its forms from a very young age.
> In his early 20’s he set off on his OE and subsequently joined a fishing fleet in North Queensland, returning to NZ for a brief time before moving to Fiji as a VSA volunteer in the fishing industry.
> While living in Fiji he was involved in delivering a number of yachts around the Pacific and then an exciting delivery to Troon, Scotland where he then spent some time before returning to Fiji. At the time of the first coup in Fiji his work visa was then revoked, and he returned home to Blenheim. He commenced management of an engineering workshop. This also gave him the opportunity to return to his love of working with iron and wood to create garden art sculptures – he also enjoyed encouraging young apprentices to be creative.
> Changes in his life in the late 90’s set him off on another adventure – this time working out of Argentina as an Owner’s Rep on a joint venture fishing vessel. When he finally returned home to the lake he decided the time was right to settle down and build the first of his many workshops. He also built a forge which gave him the opportunity to create his art works. Over the years he has created some unique wetland gardens around the property which now also houses a wee B&B, two workshops and a dwelling. The gardens are at times part of district garden tours. Time is a precious commodity and Richard balances his life doing things he loves.