HOW WERE YOU FIRST INTRODUCED TO THIS TYPE OF WORK AND WHAT DID YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR EARLY EXPLORATION OF IT?
Back in Germany where I come from, we had a farmhouse in the countryside which we renovated. The windows were small and I didn’t want curtains. I went to a big glass factory to learn how to do Tiffany/copper foil work, to make my first kind of double glazed windows. Art has always been a part of my life. I did textile art and appliqué work on clothes. Working with a new medium therefore came easy to me. Having acquired all the necessary tools and glass, I couldn’t stop. Although I loved textile, it seems the brilliance and beauty of glass seduced me.
With the help of a Glass Art teacher I learned to make wall lights and more. Slowly it became my new profession and I had to start selling the many pieces I had made.
HOW HAS YOUR WORK CHANGED AND DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS? WHAT FACTORS DO YOU THINK AFFECTED THIS?
I am a very practical hands-on person and I had to learn (often by trial and error) to find the right material and tools to create my Art pieces. That is not easy because the glass I want to use is not available here in NZ – most of it is imported from Germany and America.
I always felt the need to create Art pieces which have a practical purpose and that’s the reason why I make windows, lamps and mirrors. Telling a story with my Glass Art is another important aspect and I like to do that with my engraving which I developed by chance. I needed privacy (my bedroom door)and I got an engraving tool. Outside I could see a Nikau palm and I started drawing with the engraver. Until then, I didn’t know that I could draw. This led to developing my window pictures.
Very often in my life, practical needs or a chance encounter would lead the direction I would take next.
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHERE YOU WORK FROM? WHAT DO YOU FIND SPECIAL ABOUT LIVING OUT WEST?
For me it’s all about the beauty of nature. I have a small studio beside my house where I can see a vast diversity of trees, their different shapes and colours. And also the birds, lizards and other creepy- crawlies. It constantly inspires me, feeds my soul. I feel, I only can have that here in Titirangi.
WHAT CAN VISITORS EXPECT TO SEE WHEN THEY POP BY YOUR STUDIO DURING OPEN STUDIOS WAITAKERE?
Table/wall/drop lights, tiffany and engraved windows, small and large mirrors, fern tree wood sculptures, a large range of jewellery.
NAME YOUR TOP 5 SECRET SPOTS YOU LIKE TO VISIT IN THE WAITAKERE RANGES?
Karekare beach, from there walking to Mercer Bay. All the windswept Kanuka bushes, it’s magical. Bethells Beach, over the dune to the right, having a picnic there, maybe with friends. Anawhata, only few visitors but a steep walk.
Arataki Visitor Centre, always worth to go to, overlooking all the trees, especially the umbrella like fern trees, over Lower Nihotupo dam, out to the Manukau harbor. Kite Kite Falls in Piha.
There are so many breathtaking places in the Waitakere and my personal place is paradise anyway.