RUDI BUCHANAN STREWE
HOW WERE YOU FIRST INTRODUCED TO THIS TYPE OF WORK AND WHAT DID YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR EARLY EXPLORATION OF IT?
I was brought up in an artistic family. My father Dean worked at the Auckland City Art Gallery for about 10 years so I spent a lot of time there when I was little...I remember an amazing exhibition of kinetic/interactive sculptures that was my all time favourite exhibition. We also knew lots of painters, potters, sculptors, so I was always exposed to art...it has always been a big part of my life. Another interest of mine is restoring classic cars & motorbikes the two things sculpture & mechanics seem to go together.
HOW HAS YOUR WORK CHANGED AND DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS? WHAT FACTORS DO YOU THINK AFFECTED THIS?
I built myself a blacksmiths forge when I was about 15. It was all made from scrap parts. I used the fan from a car heater and a Land Rover break drum.
I met Ian Nielson, a blacksmith with a large workshop in Onehunga and did work experience with him. Another inspirational person was Stuart Slater, a very clever and artistic metal worker.
I have learnt a lot through trial and error. The more I do the more I learn. I wanted to learn bronze casting using the lost wax process so got together with Chris Moore and with the help and expertise of Will Clijsen we were on our way to using this this ancient technique successfully.
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHERE YOU WORK FROM? WHAT DO YOU FIND SPECIAL ABOUT LIVING OUT WEST?
My forge and foundry are in an old corrugated iron shed that started its life as a builders hut but has since grown. The other part of my workshop is in a garage.
Living at Karekare is great because we are surrounded by bush, there is no traffic noise just the sound of the birds and the wind.
WHAT CAN VISITORS EXPECT TO SEE WHEN THEY POP BY YOUR STUDIO DURING OPEN STUDIOS WAITAKERE?
My forge and foundry is your traditional dark and dirty workshop with lots of tools, half-made sculptures and things that might come in handy one day.
The clean part is in the garage where I make the wax sculptures, but also very full of different projects in different stages of completion.
NAME YOUR TOP 5 SECRET SPOTS YOU LIKE TO VISIT IN THE WAITAKERE RANGES?
I have so many favourite places in the Waitakere Ranges its hard to choose. But Bethels Lake would have to be one, Mercer Bay, Pararaha Valley or walking from Huia back to Karekare on the Huia Ridge Track, or just bush crashing around on our land.