The Draft Prospectus – Renaissance Workshops School and Folk Factory

This is it – draft but enough – calling all mad creators and high idealists, seekers of metaphysical meaning, and art, love and beauty!

About Fifty years after I painted Fireworks over the New University, I’m starting Renaissance Workshops – a kind of University…

Here’s the PDF:

The new card for Renaissance Workshops…

A 2020 vision for Dreamspace – Buy the building, start a school and ‘Renaissance workshops’

In, I posted how we need to buy the property to secure it for the future…

Well… what a long gestation! We must be giving birth to an elephant here at Dreamspace…

While I have been feeling my way into the Dreamspace and its establishment in seemingly chaotic fits and starts, I have been blessed with a few good friends, all of them informal, some casual, some giving a lot of things to the workshop – lathes, tools, timber, bits and pieces, food, beer, and friendship.

But late last year a developer came looking for the owner (not me, alas!). This shook me up – I realized how much setup we’ve done in three years and how much it would cost to do it all over again, even if I had the heart to try!

So now we are on a mission to buy the building, to make it secure for all, including the participants in a planned School and folk factory I’m calling Renaissance Workshops.

So I have started asking all friends and relatives of this dream to consider signing up to rent a space under the Lifegym plan. A desk/workbench plus shelves is going for $25 a week – this includes all the shared facilities and tools and equipment in the whole of Dreamspace as well; and $50-75 a week for a lockable room, or some other arrangement to be negotiated. Rental contracts we will be able to get a mortgage to own the property and save it from developers who would demolish our beautiful old lady and (no doubt) put up soulless units in her place! And the Dream would be scattered.

So… do you want to be part of the Dreamspace experience and help save it for posterity? I am now 65 and must think about the future when I can’t be here….

As at today, 29-1-20, we have three good people who have agreed to sign up – we need at least three more. Space is of course limited, so if you have an idea of what you could do at Dreamspace, message or ring me now. It could be for arts, crafts, woodwork, metalwork, concrete, bookbinding, etching, or whatever hobby or small business you are passionate about and need space, tools, inspiration and synergy to take to the next level…’

So… email me at or text/phone 0223326568

Great things are afoot! Elephants? 🙂

The new face of Dreamspace – Wizard Workshops

This is the business card, fun to design a new one, building on old ones like my ‘Wizard of Eutopia’ card. So, the main thing we do here now is make things in the Arts & Crafts Renaissance spirit, and hold workshops, or ‘apprentishops’, for others to learn how to make them, and become (some of them) Masters in one or more of the multiple skills fostered here…

Wizard Workshops business card AA 21 02 19

 And the First workshop is as described below in the flyer:

Wizard Workshops First FREE workshop/talk/korero  At the new Round Table, Dreamspace, 61 Carnarvon St, Saturday 23rd February 7PM  :

On Coming Out as a Creator and even making money in the coming Arts & Crafts Renaissance.

Led by Peter Harris of Dreamspace Gallery, builder of Cafe Eutopia in Northland, who has been coming out, or trying to, as an artist, craftsman, visionary and writer for the last 20 years, with many learnings, fears, failures, and scattered triumphs along the way.

Before that he started, ran into the ground, resurrected and finally sold a frame manufacturing and wholesaling business and got an MA in philosophy.

He now wants to share the agony and ecstasy of the art-business-life balancing act, and a new way forward with kindred spirits here in Gisborne as he offers a workshop space for dreaming, discussing, creating and making, at the ‘everything workshop’ of Dreamspace, 61 Carnarvon St.

At Dreamspace there is a Round Table in a round Library room for the discussion and brainstorming workshops, and many ‘playstations’ for renaissance-level creations, including: printmaking, bookbinding, blacksmithing, coin striking, painting, casting cement and plaster, mouldmaking, jewellery making in pewter, stone carving, woodcarving, woodturning, joinery, ferrocement building and sculpting, glass work, stained glass, framing and board mounting of artworks, writing, meditating, recording, conferencing and brainstorming.Phone/text Peter 022 332 6568 email

The 4phase round table

After 17 or more years thinking I should build a Round Table for creative discussion, I’ve finally done it – or the prototype, last week. The catalyst was Nathan the young American man from Waiheke who appeared at the gallery one day, and roused many of my wilder dreams from their shallow graves by being even more otherworldly and mystical than me… He was fasting and praying. . He saw the 4phase tree of life as a way of uniting people in the most noble and knightly quest for the holy grail of community. I bought some props in the form of silver spoons and forks from the Salvation Army stamped with the mark ‘community’. Representing the Status Quo in the centre which feeds us as we enter the dynamic phases of new Love Beauty Truth and Freedom… And walking the beach I found a rubber ring which resonated even more when I painted it gold. It’s a great symbol I think of true community – flexible and strong, pure gold but with a black interior like obsidian, representing the ability to absorb and neutralise negativity. And it’s too big for one person to wear like Sauron’s One Ring of power.

And Nathan? He caught a cold, stayed with us a few more days, then slipped away again. I hope he made it safely back to Waiheke… He did work magic with me here.

Soon we’ll be able to use the room of the round table for all kinds of meetings and creative workshops… in the rainy weather I’ll be able to do the finishing touches. ..and make the next, smaller, round table, for a group of brainstorming children. But that’s a story for next week…

A Retrospective, nostalgic, fantastically optimistic, long-overdue Opening Do

This is the sheet we printed and didn’t get around to handing out…

Dreamspace Opening  13th January 2018

A Retrospective, nostalgic, fantastically optimistic, long-overdue Opening Do

Welcome, present or future friend, to Dreamspace, an everything-I-love space for dreaming my Possible Human!

This Space only took me about forty-seven years to find. It could have been sooner, but I blew it after my first lucky exhibition in the summer of 71, in the condemned Denby Golf club building with its wavy wooden floors and a beautiful view over Whangarei. Other plans than following my bliss seemed more important… mostly trying to discover the Meaning Of Life, find True Love, and Save the World… Oh and raising four kids and trying to get rich or at least get less poor!

There really are legions of excuse devils dressed as duties lying in wait for us poor souls who venture upon the plane of human existence. One excuse in the age of Google is, hasn’t  EVERYTHING been done, already? But no, the key is to digest what you like, compost it, and grow your own tender plants in it. If you make it your own, it IS new. Retell the old tales in YOUR way, and you never know, a new generation might just be inspired to carry the torch of some Good Thing, some aspect of LOVE, BEAUTY, TRUTH, and LOVE…

Why teddy bears?

Art is about the sacred (see my if you agree – or disagree). And one of the most sacred things is domestic bliss – home and hearth, childhood, bedtime stories… We need to get ‘back to the Days of Christopher Robin and Pooh’. Old song from the 70’s – google it😊

Likewise for old hand-tools and ‘working ornaments’ (there’s a wonderful old blacksmith’s vise from Cornwall in the workshop – a lovely old guy (even older than me) virtually gave it to me with a sturdy bench and two other vises mounted… as I like to say, I now have THREE vices! Plus coffee addiction that’s four… So, ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’. Here’s to old tools, motorcycles, and old guys who give a damn (you know who you are!).

Of Wolves and the Meaning of Life

There’s an old Indian story about the Two Wolves… Well I’m not going to tell that one. I reckon there aren’t just two wolves inside us, one good and one evil. There’s a whole wolfpack of values, most of them ‘good’, fighting it out for top place. Which ones win? The ones we feed. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to shoot a few of the worst buggers! There ARE Wargs in this world, all is not sweetness and light. That makes even one little candle so wonderful. In my (unfinished) cupboard triptych The Three Metamorphoses of the Spirit, I quote Zarathustra – A ‘sacred No’, even to (some) duties, is required for the spirit to create as it should. There IS a cost, there will NEVER come a day when you wake up and say, ‘I’ve got nothing on today, no debts, no duties – I might as well start being a sublime creator’ You will have to be a devil to SOME value to be an angel to the ones you choose to dedicate most of your days and years to… You have to put food on the table, you say? Rice is cheap, fish are free for the catching. Have to pay the rent? Come on! Live in a garret, for art’s sake!

‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it now!’

‘Follow your BLISS.’ ( Dammit!!)

I am finally doing that right here. ‘Best time to plant a tree is fifty years ago. Second best time: NOW’). As Nietzsche’s Zarathustra says,

‘…of all treasure pits, one’s own is the last to be digged – the spirit of Gravity is the cause of that. Almost from the cradle we are presented with heavy words and values: this dowry calls itself ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’. For its sake we are forgiven for being alive.’


…‘O afternoon of my life! What have I not given away that I might possess one thing: this living plantation of my thoughts and this dawn of my highest hope!’

A big part of my highest hope is to share the skills and wisdom I have been learning of how to locate your personal Dreamspace, explore it, dig the treasure buried there. Would you like to join me in a group which can meet here at Dreamspace say on Wednesday at 7 for coffee, tea, and communion with each other as creators, seekers after a life that is up there in the stars with the gods and goddesses, not down here where bank managers and landlords rule. ‘Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and all these things will be thrown in’. I have found it to be true: the times I followed that higher duty, things worked out strangely well practically too (not without sacrifice but hey that’s life! See the Wolf story above).

For God’s sake, in the free world we are all gods and goddesses, having more freedoms, more powers via the free internet than kings and queens of old. What the @#%@# are we doing with this freedom? Worrying about repayments on that fizzboat? That ‘ceiled mansion’? There IS a scale of values, and how inverted most of ours are here in Godzone, and the whole Free World! So let’s begin righting things in our own worlds! Sacrifice a little. Create good art, good love, good things. ‘I love him who creates beyond himself, and thus perishes’ Die to that old boring life, live for art – that is, the Sacred, whatever that means to YOU.

The Dreamspace Club??

So, anyone want to join a club for doing just that? I know, not for everyone, lots of conceptualising, challenging, daring, meditating in blue rooms, trying some new art… But let’s!! Talk to me, or leave your email and what you’d be keen on (Dreamspace club, learning some philosophy, writing, reading, bookbinding, etching, painting, ferrocement, casting, carving etc…) in the Minute book (one of three donated to Dreamspace by our esteemed land agent Colin McNab).

Oh yes, enjoy the evening, drinks and food by our daughter Anna and her good man Marco of Endcliffe Spit fame (they’re doctors too if you need one for some reason – beware hazards in the workshops, and keep an eye on that kid! Toilet is through the back, handbasin at foot of the stairs). The paintings carvings and handcast items are mostly for sale (time to really sell stuff later – doors open from now on as often and as long as I am here… and Raewyn is studying here so will also be serving in between early childhood education assignments… There is eftpos here, I trust, and I have change for money. We take pledges, pigs, produce, old books too… If something I made (or could make for you) enchants you, could be you can get it from me for a song…

So, this space is your space too. It’s just over 100 this year (council permit application dated 1917). So, an opening and a 100th birthday! Dreamspace was built while WWI was still raging. That’s faith…  I hope you will see it as part of the ‘eutopian’ landscape of this good city and visit often, especially when we do a show, on one of a hundred different things I’m keen to create, if I am spared! ‘Somebody, stop me!’ as the Mask said. Enjoy this evening and make it count – and every day beyond today, let’s treasure each one and get out of our own way and create something wonderful!

Peter Harris. Ph 022332 6568 Website for Dreamspace: My personal art blog : My process theory and ‘phasetimer’ clocks etc: My personal blog:  The fantasy epic: apples of Aeden – google for amazon smashwords etc – free volume one as ebook there. Other free or cheap ebooks by me on Amazon and Smashwords.

Dreamspace at the docks, 2017

I haven’t posted for ages, on account of being away North a lot sorting our property – the land and the Ark


– for sale and migrating stuff down to Gisborne, and waiting for our ship to come in, in the form of a sale which releases us from the Mort-gage. But meanwhile we have almost built a ‘ship’- or ark – of possibility here at 61 Carnarvon St. The gangway is not out yet, but visitors who get past the infinite improbability field (thanks Douglas Adams for that and many other nice concepts!) are most welcome.

The Dreamspace sign the night it went up – letters still a bit drunk!


by  streetlight and moonlight…

the gallery, earlier photo.

gallery by night

A new door being made in the workshop.. yeah messy here too. But productive!

Planning room and library, taking shape…

We now have four – well, three and a half – studio rooms, a gallery space, a front shop area, and a back workshop for woodworking, as well as a yard for ferrocement building and sculpting. I say ‘we’ as a man of many parts, not as the leader of a mass movement! Or any movement, as yet. But this may change, if I am true to myself, i.e., don’t keep going without but instead strengthen the going within. ‘Of all treasure pits, one’s own is the last to be digged’ – Zarathustra. Indeed if there’s a movement it must start in this truth first – that we go within for our true treasures. And then as through a magic folding of spacetime, we find ourselves outside again, as if we had lived all our lives on the inside of a sock, and one day the sock is turned inside out – nothing has changed, yet everything has (Wittgenstein’s delightful metaphor). And we can begin to create in the outer world… out of the inner one. And truly meet and recognise others who do that too.

This clarity about Dreamspace’s inner vision came to me this morning watching the 2015 graduation address at Naropa University… interesting place! – It was good.  Thanks Raewyn for the link! The title is ‘Living from the Inside out’. The link to the youtube video:

So how do WE live like that? Dreamspace is a place that really stands for what he describes…isn’t it?  Vulnerable,  about faithfulness to ideals, not mere effectiveness at the cost of openheartedness.

Can you see it? Could you join me?

To make it partly concrete: Dreamspace is where we make only things (namely: hobbit havens and accessories, elf havens and accessories, artworks, sacred scultures, arches etc) of beauty, with integrity, for community. Where we bring forth treasures from within,  from a cultivated heart and mind. Where we practise and teach digging that inner treasure pit which often is the last thing to be digged…
Increasingly in this new economy we really have to ‘go within’ , or we will ‘go without’… the rewards just aren’t there for us when we try selling our inner life for outer material success. That path has mostly been outsourced…
We need a prospectus for Dreamspace. ..and an ‘Athanor’ covenant by which only those dedicated to living from the inside out may join the ship, as there are limited berths… and from that focus on inner being, do, and finally from the doing, have. This is how we turned around memory frames… after it had been insolvent for years, until one day I picked ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ off my brother’s shelf, and read that Quality is what makes up our world, and is the mystical-empirical wonder we all glimpse in the world through all the confusion…
But now it’s at a whole new level of awareness, able to be articulated,  a flag hoisted, people enrolled… Dreamspace is a ship awaiting its crew. But first it needs its captain and first mate, to really step up. Well just its captain, truth be told. And that’s me.
So here I am, at the threshold again…
Live hand in hand, and together we’ll stand
On the Threshold of a Dream’
– our motto at cafe Eutopia, from the Moody Blues.
In Cafe Eutopia  we built a threshold with blood sweat and tears, but we never fully went through ourselves. Dreamspace, which was built 100 years ago this year as a woodworking factory, at the tail end of the Great War as they called it, has a new motto: maybe it could be from the song:
‘Come on without, come on within’
…. (Who is the Mighty Quinn in Dreamspace? well, I think it’s the great aspectual diagram of the four phases of all process, and the Fifth Element which is the synthesis, the living organism which results from these four weaving their evolutionary magic… see
And whosoever wields these five…. in this case, in the first instance, me 🙂
I recently asked a wise Lady, Anne Hamilton who I think of as a prophet of the threshold and of destiny (see her series on names and thresholds and covenants here: Anne Hamilton), ‘Is my whole life to be threshold, and never promised land?’ I think I know the answer – it’s up to me. As it always is… Do we enter, or not…
Yet we have to know that here at the threshold of great things ‘lie in wait for us our seven devils’ (see Thus spake Zarathustra, On the Way of the Creator) God is at the Gateway – and the Devil is at the door – and it is us.
Anne being a Christian, says – as I understand her – that there must always be a sacrifice there at the threshold, before we can safely pass over (just as at the first ‘pass-over’ where the blood of a lamb had to be put on the threshold so the angel of death would not enter). Not to be so churlish as to argue here the literal truth of the cross, I can see that the thing is, we are that lamb, or if you are a Christian the idea is that we must identify with the Lamb of God – and what crosses our threshold is not our old self, but our true self, reborn, freed from the shadow self or ego, which imitates the true us but always lives backward and fearful of losing itself, and out of fear tries to freeze-frame life … and therefore lives a kind of death in life. It really must be sacrificed if we are to be free to be the divine selves we all are to be.
I will let that gangway down, for the sake of those brave souls who will sail with me. We will set sail! There are Blissful Isles to be discovered!
…Come, my friends,
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles…
Ullysses, Tennyson