HOW WERE YOU FIRST INTRODUCED TO THIS TYPE OF WORK AND WHAT DID YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR EARLY EXPLORATION OF IT?
I got introduced to glass casting when I enrolled myself to a glass casting course at the old Art Station in 2005. At the time I was trying different things as I wanted to change my career to fit it around my family. I didn’t really know what I enrolled for. The course took me by surprise. I fell in love with my first creation and that was it, I was hooked. I attended 3 terms all together, working hard and trying to learn as much as I could. I loved the whole process. The bright colours, the refractions and reflections of the glass and the freedom of creating whatever I wanted.
HOW HAS YOUR WORK CHANGED AND DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS? WHAT FACTORS DO YOU THINK AFFECTED THIS?
Even though my process hasn’t changed much apart from trying to perfect it, I have developed a better understanding for all the material involved in my process. Initially I made a lot of work that lay down, now most of my work is standing up. The main thing is size. I used to create a small amount of large works to compliment my tiny ones. Now I do the opposite. I create large to extra-large works either as installations or as individual pieces and a small amount of tiny works to accompany my large ones.
At the beginning I had a lot of negative comments about my ability to go large and manage to sell. The comments mostly came from people in the art world. I had to really believe in myself and my abilities, block the negativity and follow my gut instinct. I remember feeling determined to prove everyone wrong. Large size works bring a huge amount of happiness and satisfaction in my heart and soul. Lately I also create works that trigger conversations about different social subjects like refugees, rape, equality, poverty and abuse. I also incorporate other materials like wood, metal and lights.
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHERE YOU WORK FROM? WHAT DO YOU FIND SPECIAL ABOUT LIVING OUT WEST?
My studio is in the same land as the house. I close one door and open the other. I love living and working in the Waitakeres. We are so lucky here. We are surrounded by native bush underneath Parekura Hill. The bush has an amazing energy. My studio fills up with light, bush shadows and bird songs. When I work late nights I never feel alone. There so many noises out there. So many creatures go wild in the night. The sunrises and sunsets, the rain, the amazing rainbows, the wind. I am so in love with this place. The perfect environment for endless inspiration.
WHAT CAN VISITORS EXPECT TO SEE WHEN THEY POP BY YOUR STUDIO DURING OPEN STUDIOS WAITAKERE?
During your visit to my studio you will get a demonstration of my glass casting process. I will also play with some clay and pour a couple of waxes during the weekend. There will be a lot of molds and waxes on display. Glass and a few seconds for sale.
NAME YOUR TOP 5 SECRET SPOTS YOU LIKE TO VISIT IN THE WAITAKERE RANGES?
It's pretty hard to choose only 5.
1.Panatahi Island at Karekare on a really low tide so I can walk up to it and then off to Karekare falls.
2.The lookout at the end of Huia Point Lookout Rd before I continue towards Whatipu.
3. Visit the sand dunes out at Te Henga and then off to the Gutt between Bethells and O’Neil’s.
4.Go up to Fairy falls through the Opanuku stream.
5.Visit the Mermaid pools at south Piha and then off to the north Piha to climb over to Whites beach.