After spending 35 homesick years in Australia I have at last returned to the Coast and am seeing our lovely region with heightened appreciation and fresh eyes after those long hot dry years away – inspiration is everywhere and now I fully grasp the beautiful Maori concept of turangawaewae for Westland truly is “the place where I stand” (tūranga (standing place), waewae (feet) tūrangawaewae are places where we feel especially empowered and connected. They are our foundation, our place in the world, our home.)
I started working in glass 20 years ago and after several years of the precise work needed in leadlight and copperfoil pieces I tried mosaics and loved the freedom of it.
Lately I’ve been exploring kiln fused glass enamel techniques which have enabled me to create painted focal points for my mosaics …. even more exciting is the advent of Lois Manno’s Modeling Glass coming onto the market at last. I think I was as excited as Lois about her medium as it feels like a real “game changer” in that at last the glass artist has the same flexibility of material that the ceramicist does – it is in effect glass clay (powdered glass is mixed with Lois’ medium to form a smooth malleable “clay”). My latest work of Macaroni Penguins was the first time I used the Modeling Glass and I’m excited at it’s wonderful possibilities – it was a steep learning curve but worth every minute of the challenge.
I am fortunate indeed that each work I make leads to more commissions, I have in the past attempted to gather a body of work with which to approach a gallery but each time someone buys it so I’m continuing to work happily in my home studio free from constraints and pressures and with the spectacular Southern Alps and lush Westland native bush just 3 kms from my studio windows continuing to inspire me.