Look­ing for some ‘shed sheilas’ to share


‘‘Girls, we want your sheds... If you don't have a shed, we can set one up for you in one of our gar­dens.’’ Mar­i­lyn O'Hal­lo­ran

3D dichroic glass artist Ser­ena Mercer likes tak­ing risks.

The self-taught de­signer and teacher has never been one for rules, forg­ing her own way to unique art­works by trial, er­ror and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion.

Mis­takes of­ten turn up trumps, Mercer said, but the ones that don’t, well she has a way with those too.

‘‘Mis­takes I don’t like, go un­der the ham­mer.’’

This is no auc­tion she is talk­ing about.

‘‘I smash them up, re­ar­range the pieces and re-cook them.’’

Dichroic glass has a spe­cial coat­ing so that it changes hue de­pend­ing on light­ing, and Mercer makes one-off jewellery and or­na­ments as well as be­spoke pieces to or­der.

Last Fe­bru­ary, Mercer bought a ticket to Takaro Ro­tary’s Girls Sheds fundraiser, a tour of 20 Manawatu sheds show­cas­ing fe­male crafts and hob­by­ists.

‘‘I loved it. I re­ally en­joyed meet­ing new peo­ple and talk­ing to all the in­cred­i­bly cre­ative women, and see­ing what they were do­ing. It was just a re­ally good day.’’

Rapt by the ex­pe­ri­ence, Mercer now finds her­self the poster girl for the 2017 Girls Sheds.

Takaro Ro­tary’s Mar­i­lyn O’Hal­lo­ran re­cruited Mercer, who will be show­ing off her kilns, her glass classes, and her crafts on Fe­bru­ary 19 next year. In 2016, the Girls Sheds raised $8000 to­wards com­mu­nity and youth projects and O’Hal­lo­ran would love to do the same again.

To do that, she needs more tal- ented women to share the con­tents of their sheds.

‘‘Girls, we want your sheds. If you have a shed that houses a hobby or an in­come, we’d love to in­clude you on next year’s tour. The only cost to you is that we ask for one item to be do­nated to­wards our giant raf­fle on the day, which runs from 9am to 4.30pm,’’ O’Hal­lo­ran said.

Last Fe­bru­ary, the sheds in­cluded her­itage fur­ni­ture restora­tion, lead­light­ing, soap mak­ing, metal and stone art, craft cheese, porce­lain dolls, bears, and ed­i­ble gar­dens.

‘‘We run the day a bit like a gar­den tour. If you don’t have a shed, we can set one up for you in one of our gar­dens, but more peo­ple please.’’

To join next Fe­bru­ary’s shed sis­ters or ‘‘shed­dies’’, con­tact O’Hal­lo­ran on 355 8638.


Glass artist Ser­ena Mercer is join­ing Takaro Ro­tary’s 2017 Girls in Sheds fundraiser.

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