Manukau Courier : January 10th 2014
4 MANUKAU COURIER, JANUARY 10, 2014 NEWS www.manukaucourier.co.nz Metal rocker: One of two metal rocking horses at the studio waiting to get painted. Dying art: Lots of people seem to have rocking horses stored away at home but the craft of making them is a ‘‘dying art’’. Hefty price: This finished rocking horse is on sale for $4950. Packed away: An old wooden rocking horse waits high up on a shelf of Wrightway Studios, waiting to be worked on. Finished product: A large swing stand wooden rocking horse is completely restored and looks brand new. Rocking horses restored to glory Reporter Tao Lin discovers a secret place and its precious inhabitants. She also took the photos. Tucked away in a spacious Mt Wellington studio four rocking horses wait for a new life. No longer a child’s toy of choice in modern times, the horses have been brought out of storage, dusted off and given hope for the future through the loving efforts of the restoration and repair artists at Wrightway Studios. The studio restores and repairs antiques and works of art with collectable and sentimental value. Studio manager Trilby Conway says it’s the largest studio of its kind in the country – and possibly in the southern hemisphere. ‘‘No-one else does it on the size and scale we do,’’ she says. The studio has been around for 25 years and started off mending china. Now 15 restoration artists work with almost anything, including shattered glass, broken ceramic, weathered picture frames and damaged prams. ‘‘Anything can be restored. It’s just a matter of time and money.’’ A lot of people have rock- ing horses tucked away at home somewhere, Ms Conway says. The studio itself has a large wooden one stored away, waiting for its turn to be worked on. Making rocking horses is a ‘‘dying art’’ and they’re not cheap, either. One horse on sale at the studio carries a price tag of $4950. It’s difficult to say how long a rocking horse takes to restore because every case is different. But Ms Conway reckons three or four months will do it. Head artist Eason Chen says the process of restoring rocking horses involves stripping the original paint and decorations, putting on a base coat, repainting the exterior and finally adding new decorations. Two metal rocking horses now being worked had to have rust remove. The restoration artists try to keep the pieces as original as possible, fixing only the damaged areas and keeping as many of the initial parts as possible, Mr Chen says. The 51-year-old came from Guangdong province in China 18 years ago and landed a job at Wrightway Studios just two weeks after arriving in the country. The former engineer has enjoyed restoring art from the very beginning and happily continues to do it. ‘‘It’s quite a skilled work. And everything has a culture and history behind it.’’ Migrant writers event returns Pregnancy support By SARAH CODDINGTON Free writing workshops for migrant women will return in February. The creative writing series – New Kiwi Women Write Their Stories – were set up in 2011 to help migrant women find their voices through literature. It is run by Auckland Council. Attendees will receive professional guidance from award-winning New Zealand writers, such as Auckland’s Renee Liang. Experimentation with a range of creative writing techniques is encouraged. The workshops will culmi- nate in the publication of a book and a public launch and reading, council says. Ms Liang says expression through the written word can be a great way to meet others in the community, record experiences and memories and discover new writing talent. ‘‘Our writing tutors – who have included awardwinning poets Riemke Ensing, Siobhan Harvey and Janet Charman and novelists Sarah Laing and Paula Morris – gain so much from teaching and listening to these women.’’ The workshops run through February and will consist of two groups of up to 15 people each. Places are limited so bookings are essential. Workshops are held at Sandringham Community Centre, 18-20 Kitchener Rd, Sandringham. Email sarah.carian@aucklandcouncil. govt.nz or call 367 3095. ■ Aucklandcouncil.govt.nz. Expectant mothers can now find all they need to know on maternity services in one place. Everything women need to know about maternity care is now on the website healthpoint.co.nz/maternity. Counties Manukau Health uses the site to communicate information on doctors, hospital services and locations and mental health and addiction services. The website has now been extended to cover Counties Manukau midwives and maternity services, both hospital-based and in the community. It can also help pregnant women find support networks and work out where to park at the hospital when the time comes to have the baby. Passionate artist: Head artist Eason Chen says the work the artists do at Wrightway Studios is very skilled and he enjoys the fact that every piece is different.
January 9th 2014
January 14th 2014