Joe Gibson lived in Seatoun, a seaside suburb of Wellington. As with so many other makers, his first wheel, a saxony style, was for his wife; that was about 1970. He made over 100 wheels in the 1970s and 80s, many for family and friends. He died in 1995.
He was a keen woodworker and turner, and made stools and other furniture as well as wheels.
The spinner at right is Barbara Gibson, with a stool and one of his several types of upright wheels.
He also made some basically saxony style (but with a horizontal table) and some basically norwegian-style (but with no secondary table). He liked to make each wheel to suit its future owner. Just once, he made an irish castle wheel.
Many (but not all) of his wheels are stamped underneath with his name or initials. However, there are several other ways to identify them, though there are rarely two exactly the same.
There is almost always a thistle motif to be found somewhere. On the wheels shown here they are at the outer ends of the spokes, and on the uprights they are also on the tops of the maidens. Also, there is usually a raised ledge on the treadle for the spinner’s heel to rest against.
He used many different types of wood. The irish castle wheel at left is mostly kauri.