Month: March 2017

DIY for Birdlovers

I’m not sure if it’s our New Zealand heritage and national mascot – a flightless and defenceless forager, but Jane and I both adore birds. We fawn over anything feathered that chirps and warbles in spite of our relatively urban upbringings. Nowadays during lunch breaks, we’re delighted when we’re visited by kookaburras in the garden of our WHT workspace, even though it’s not our friendship they are necessarily after. So when they fly away home, start creating some tweety reminders of the good times.Rock, wire and branches complete the materials for this simple wall sculpture. Find DIY instructions on similar pebble art here. Don’t ditch your holey gumboots, they make a perfect birdhouse for nesting tweeters. Warm, waterproof and hence inviting, my Dad’s size 13’s were always at the back door and were occasionally a shelter for large wetas. Instructions for creating a raft of hidden-holes for your friends can be found here. Materials are a few pairs of old gumboots, a sharp knife, scrap wood, screws and some bolts. Too easy.Vintage dictionary pages make a fantastic …

Environmental Artists | Nature meets waste

At WHT we love nothing more than artists who can produce sensational bodies of work using naturally occurring materials or even waste products such as plastic bottles, ocean detritus and outmoded CDs as their primary resource. American stick work artist Patrick Dougherty studied hospital and health administration before returning to North Carolina University to complete a degree in art history and sculpture. Using carpentry skills, he began exploring tree saplings as a sculptural material. Starting with single trees, his work soon evolved to a monumental scale and over the past 30 years, Dougherty has produced more than 250 giant scale artworks and become internationally acclaimed. Two beached fish on Botafogo beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil were the marketing tool chosen to promote the UN Conference on Sustainable Development at the Rio+20 in 2012. Made entirely from plastic bottles, the enormous installations were backlit at night to create a vivid light display. Scheduled 20 years on from the original Earth summit in 1992, Rio+20 was “a chance to move away from business-as-usual and to act to end …

Ceramics Masterclass | Photo Gallery

I did a ceramics masterclass recently with the wonderful Sydney-based ceramicist Alana Wilson via Megan Morton’s The School and it was so much fun! Alana specialises in pieces that look as if they’ve been unearthed from an archaeological dig, particularly because of her special, often experimental, glaze mixes she has perfected over the years. As she says on her website, her primary source of reference and influence are ancient vessels and archaeological artefacts. While it was this ‘look’ that attracted me to her work and the workshop in the first place, I pretty much love all ceramics and have always wanted to give it a go. Using paper-based clay, a few tools and our hands, we started by making a small Japanese teacup. The technique Alana taught us was coiling, which that has been used for thousands of years in places such as Africa, Greece, China and New Mexico. Basically you build a vessel using rolled strips of clay and moulding and forming it with your fingers, starting from the bottom up. With my next piece, I decided to …

Lime-iced donut studs by Kate and Rose

Interview: Suzanne Anderson | Tea-party inspired jewellery

How wonderful to engage in a creative life fulled by a penchant for donuts and high tea parties! But Suzanne Anderson of Kate and Rose has done just that. She has forged a rather unlikely business from making polymer clay foodie treats, vintage teacups and bespoke vintage upcycled cake stands. It is her iced donut studs that have proved such a hit, she can’t make enough of them. And I certainly can’t think of a better way to indulge a donut addiction than by wearing them. Meet Suzanne … Please introduce yourself – tell us about your background and how you’ve got to where you are today. Before I started my family I worked professionally, mainly in contract roles in telecommunications, in a variety of roles such as market research, project management and as a business analyst. I worked in London and also in New Zealand, and finally settled back in Melbourne in 2001. After I had my two girls, I decided I didn’t want to go back to this type of work. It also didn’t …