JUNK­YARD DOG

Te Aroha scrap-metal sculp­tor Adrian Wors­ley brings art to the street.

North & South - - In This Issue - STACEY ANYAN

Scrap-metal sculp­tor Adrian Wors­ley brings art to the street.

If you’re look­ing for some­where handy to park your bike in Te Aroha while cy­cling the Hau­raki Rail Trail, one op­tion is slot­ting it into a scrap-metal cre­ation by Adrian Wors­ley.

The lo­cal busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion ini­ti­ated the street-art project and so far Wors­ley has com­pleted three of 10 bike racks that will dot his home­town’s main street: an oblig­ing dachshund, a racer bunny and a Model T truck that chil­dren can sit on and “drive”.

Wors­ley’s work­shop and gallery are open to tourists, who nosey around the neatly lined walls and shelves from which he plucks his favoured ma­te­ri­als: “Farm ma­chin­ery parts, hand tools, any­thing old and rusty with char­ac­ter.”

For 13 years, Wors­ley crafted fur­ni­ture from stain­less steel and fit­ted out bars, cafes, com­mer­cial kitchens and homes – mostly in Auck­land and Queen­stown, but also Te Aroha’s Ironique Cafe – in what he calls his “rus­tic style” (www.adrian-wors­ley.com).

His first foray into “the art world” was a hand­crafted wine rack that quickly sold; a com­mis­sion from the Waikato Mu­seum’s Art­spost soon fol­lowed. He opted for a sin­gle hero piece: a Tri­umph mo­tor­bike, which took him 300 hours to com­plete.

Since then, he’s used scrap metal to make schoolkids, a print­ing press, trac­tors, pea­cocks, and even a horse-mo­tor­bike hy­brid for a cou­ple’s wed­ding an­niver­sary: “She liked horses, he liked mo­tor­bikes.” A cow sit­ting on a suit­case was com­mis­sioned by Mor­rinsville’s House of Travel as part of the town’s cow-sculp­ture trail.

“I never do any­thing the same. I’m al­ways look­ing for a chal­lenge,” he says. “That’s what I love about it, you get to make it up as you go along. Mis­takes are often your best pieces.”

Wors­ley’s part­ner, Tessa, is his mar­ket­ing man­ager, and a lo­cal scrap-metal dealer sources ma­te­ri­als on his be­half. “Also a lot of lo­cals drop off stuff when they’re clear­ing their sheds. I love that it’s some­thing that would nor­mally be thrown away and I’m man­ag­ing to re­use it.”

Get­ting hold of Jim Mcmil­lan, founder of the True Honey Co, means catch­ing him as he darts in and out of re­cep­tion “fly­ing hives” in North­land. It’s pro­duc­tion sea­son, and some of the most re­mote parts of the coun­try are abuzz with ac­tiv­ity as the honey is har­vested.

A hands- on ap­proach is a key fac­tor in the com­pany’s ethos: it pro­duces ev­ery drop of the high­grade manuka honey it sells, and trades di­rectly with cus­tomers on­line. All of its honey is MGO 300+, which means it’s high in the ac­tive com­pound cred­ited with po­ten­tial health ben­e­fits.

Mcmil­lan, an ex- chop­per pi­lot who saw his fu­ture from above in forests of ru­ral manuka trees, is pas­sion­ate about more than qual­ity honey. “I wanted to play a lead­ing role in build­ing in­dus­try cred­i­bil­ity, en­sur­ing its long-term fu­ture,” he says, of a field hum­ming with new play­ers as over­seas in­ter­est grows. “It can’t just be about short-term prof­i­teer­ing, it’s about pro­tect­ing the brand.”

Along­side its hive-to-home op­er­a­tion, True Honey is also in the tech­nol­ogy game, de­vel­op­ing an on­line soft­ware pro­gram, True­view, to make in­for­ma­tion on hive ac­tiv­ity and honey weight con­stantly avail­able to bee­keep­ers and landown­ers. Trans­parency is cru­cial in main­tain­ing good re­la­tion­ships through­out the pro­duc­tion chain, says Mcmil­lan. “We do our best to take care of ev­ery­body and ev­ery bee along the way.”

Adrian Wors­ley in his Te Aroha work­shop and gallery.

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