Free as a bird


Af­ter grad­u­at­ing with a Bach­e­lor of De­sign (Sculp­ture) from Unitec, Mike Craw­ford de­vel­oped his skill and affin­ity for cast glass when he worked as a tech­ni­cian for eight years for the doyenne of the medium, Ann Robin­son. He started his own prac­tice in 2010 and has de­vel­oped sig­na­ture ab­stract works that im­ply, rather than ex­plic­itly ref­er­ence, birds. The forms were in­spired by gourds that his fa­therin-law grew and emerged as pieces with a body, head and neck. Al­though this was not a de­lib­er­ate di­rec­tion, Mike be­came fas­ci­nated by how far he could push the ab­strac­tion while re­tain­ing the essence of the bird. One tool was to limit his pal­ette to evoke birds in the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment. He ini­tially shapes the pieces in wax, then takes them through the labour-in­ten­sive glass-cast­ing process. The last stage is grind­ing the glass to re­fine the shape, the fin­ish and the de­tails which give the work its lively per­son­al­ity. He­len Scham­roth


Lives in: Dunedin

Deal­ers: Master­works, Auck­land; Mil­ford Gal­leries, Dunedin

Price range: $4000-$8000

Next ex­hi­bi­tions: South­ern Gothic group ex­hi­bi­tion, Mil­ford Gal­leries, un­til 3 Oc­to­ber; solo ex­hi­bi­tion, Master­works, April 2019 Work il­lus­trated: Kahu 2018

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