What inspires us...
As a glass artist, diving into the world of Kiwiana-inspired artwork feels like stepping into a delicate dance between New Zealand's soul and the intricate beauty of glass. It's about merging the essence of our cultural identity with the fragile translucence of this medium, crafting pieces that echo the heartbeats of our nation.
Glass itself transforms into a canvas, reflecting New Zealand's diverse landscapes with its shifting colors. The rugged grandeur of our mountains, the serene lushness of our forests, and the timeless allure of our beaches come alive in the glass's delicate hues. It's a dance of traditional techniques and innovative forms, a delicate endeavor that captures the soul of our nation.
With each creation, I weave a tale of belonging, where our native birds, like the playful pīwakawaka, flutter gracefully through the glasswork. Kiwiana-inspired glass art encapsulates the essence of our past, the vibrancy of our present, and the promise of our future. It's a tribute to our unique Kiwi identity, a celebration of our shared history, and an invitation for all to embrace the rhythm of our land - reminiscent of the melodic orchestra of our native birdlife.
Our main New Zealand Icon Inspiration comes from:
These birds are all over the place in New Zealand, from the North Island to the South Island and even Stewart Island. They're chill with different spots, like forests, coastal areas, and even neighborhoods – anywhere with flowers, really.
Speaking of flowers, tūī are all about that nectar life. They're like the party animals of the flower world, sipping nectar left and right. They're super important because they help pollinate the native plants, making sure they keep on thriving. But tūī aren't just nectar addicts; they also munch on fruits and bugs to keep their diet interesting.
Now, let's talk about their voices. These birds aren't just tweeting, they're full-on rockin'. Tūī have this crazy range of sounds – clicks, whistles, and even melodies that sound like they're straight out of a concert. They're like the DJs of the bird world, mixing it up with different tunes and even mimicking human sounds. Talk about a bird that knows how to party!
When it comes to their behavior, tūī are like the acrobats of the skies. They can do all sorts of fancy flying tricks, like hovering and even flying upside-down. And they're not afraid to show off their moves. They're also pretty feisty – they've got this whole territorial thing going on, where they defend their favorite spots like they're guarding a treasure.
While they can be a bit sassy with each other, they also know how to hang out. Outside of the breeding season, they join up in loose crews to grab a bite together. It's like they're having a little bird party out there!
As for their status, they're doing okay for now, but they've had their fair share of challenges. Losing their hangout spots due to humans messing with their habitats, and dealing with pesky critters like rats and possums, can be a headache. But people in New Zealand are working hard to keep these rockstars rocking by protecting their homes and making sure those pests don't crash the party.
In a nutshell, tūī are the elite of the Kiwi bird scene. They've got the looks, the moves, and they're always up for a good song. And with a bit of help from their human friends, they'll keep on adding that unique Kiwi vibe to the world.
The piwakawaka gets some of its street cred from Maori legends. It's said that this bird was Maui's sidekick, and if you've heard of Maui, you know he's like the superhero of Maori stories. Picture this bird flitting around, spreading the juiciest news – kinda like the town gossip, but in a cool way.
But wait, there's more! These little buddies are everywhere in New Zealand – forests, parks, and even right in town. They've got this friendly attitude, like they're not afraid to come say hi. They'll swoop right up to you, practically asking for a high-five. That's earned them a rep as symbols of being nosy in a good way and keeping an eye out for you.
And guess what? The piwakawaka has gone beyond just chilling in nature. It's become a bit of a trendsetter in the art scene too. You'll see its cute shape in traditional Maori carvings and modern art pieces. Even jewelry gets a touch of piwakawaka style.
But it's not just about looks. These birds are like the insect police of New Zealand. They gobble up bugs like it's their full-time job, helping keep the creepy crawlers in check.
So, to wrap it up, the piwakawaka isn't your run-of-the-mill bird. It's part of Kiwi culture, mixing legends, friendliness, and a dash of coolness all in one feathery package. If New Zealand had a mascot, this little guy might just be it!
New Zealand Landscapes
Mountains: So, picture this – the South Island is bossed around by the Southern Alps. These mountains are like something out of a fantasy flick, with the big shot being Mount Cook, standing tall at over 12,000 feet, all decked out in a snowy blanket. If you're into hiking and climbing, this place is your jackpot. Glaciers, lakes, and trails that'll make your head spin – it's all here.
Landscapes: Okay, North Island's got some tricks up its sleeve too. Check this out – geothermal galore. Geysers shooting up and hot springs where you can soak like a chill boss. And don't even get me started on Tongariro National Park. Active volcanoes, epic scenery, and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – a hiking adventure that's basically Instagram gold and great inspiration for glass wall art pieces on a larger scale. The South Islands Central Otago is featured widely in our art. We love to show off the Wanaka Tree, Te Anau's iconic wharf or the beauty that is Queenstown.
Coastlines: Coastlines? Oh, you're in for a treat! West Coast brings the wild vibes. Tasman Sea smashing against rocky shores, waves going bonkers – perfect for those moody walks and watching surfers ride the chaos. The Wave is the perfect example of wild New Zealand ocean shores.
But wait, there's more! Head east, and it's a different story. Think golden beaches, laid-back waters, and pure zen. The Bay of Islands is your ticket to paradise – islands, coves, and water so clear you'll want to dive right in.
So, bottom line? New Zealand's got mountains that'll make you want to high-five the sky, landscapes that are straight out of a dream, and coastlines that'll have you feeling all sorts of vibes. It's like nature cranked the awesomeness dial to 11 down there!