Havent (yet) seen any handles like this. Plenty of carvings, bowls etc with google search. Some simple long grained kauri, almost ligum-like, like the masamoto handle, with the bling of a band and endcap of abalone..... You may have a test dummy!
So far I am seeing some subtle figure in this wood.
I am going to cut it into blocks and sell them cheap.
Apparently the really wild stuff comes from the roots.
I have a request in with the supplier for some of that if they have some really bold pieces.
I find it darkens quite a bit with stabilizing, maybe try out a few pieces?
Yep, you got the idea of what these ancient kiwi trees (kauri, matai, etc.) are all about: beautiful and unique hues of gold and soft browns! They'll not compare if you're looking for heavy figured patterns but the warmth of the glow is what differenciate them I think. Not sure how how well they work out on small things like a knife handle though. On furniture and floors they are simply amazing.
Dave Martell rehandled a hiromoto for my wife with kauri a couple years ago and the handle is beautiful.
David (WildBoar's Kitchen)
I love the look of Kauri, I have seen a few western rehandles by Dave. They have always looked really special, I wanted to get him to rehandle my misono Hankotsu in Kauri.