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Open Artist Inspired By Nature

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Waitakere Artists Open Studio Weekend is fast approaching so bring your friends along to visit some of the west's most celebrated artists.

More than 38 home studios and 10 galleries featuring clusters of artists will be throwing their doors open on 27 and 28 March to give visitors a rare chance to meet and talk to the artists as well as buy their work.

Artistic techniques can also be viewed first hand and cover a diverse range of media including sculpture, ceramics, jewellery and glass.

Renown glass and mixed media artist Jenny McLeod will be open the doors of her Henderson home studio on the Saturday.

"In past years I have had students and budding artists who want to learn the techniques and equipment I use while others, including my neighbours, come out of interest," says Jenny.

Raised on a Whitianga farm the Coromandel and nature are constant reference points in Jenny's work and she incorporates a variety of materials, including New Zealand native fibre, harakeke or flax as well as pumice and concrete.

"I enjoy working with these materials and am inspired by their natural quality and the unlimited possibilities of combining them with glass," says Jenny.

"For wall hangings I use a lot of copper to thread my necklace formations and use flax ties on some of my more traditional pieces."

Jenny has two six cubic foot kilns in her workshop which gives her the control required to fuse and slump sheet glass. A complicated procedure, Jenny's description belies the level of skill and expertise required to produce each masterpiece.

"For a bowl I will first draw a pattern in the sand inside the kiln. I then lay a cut-glass disc on the sand and when it reaches a molten state it sinks into the pattern. My second firing is not as hot, as I want to retain the pattern."

Admission is free and an official map with venue locations will be available at local galleries or on the council website

There are also planned mini-bus tours which will be visiting five home studios. The tour costs $15 and will leave from the Corban Estate Arts Centre at 10:30am and 1:30pm each day. Limited tickets so bookings are essential.

For further information, or to make a booking, call the council's 24-hour call centre, 839 0400.

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