Glen Colechin

Being an innovative craftsman fits comfortably with Glen Colechin’s engineering background. With a career in product design and production engineering, he has a sound foundation with the skills to drive his creative core. “Art is everywhere,” Glen explains. “You need that creative eye to see it. That’s what makes me a good engineer.”

It’s a balancing act working in a demanding day job and squeezing every moment from weekends and after hours to develop a stable of sculpted masterpieces that have now taken the market by storm. Glen recently uploaded photographs of a couple of pieces on social media and was inundated by nearly a thousand enquires from as far afield as Dubai, New York, and throughout New Zealand. He is currently transitioning to part-time employment to focus more creative energy on fulfilling his passion and delivering his beautifully crafted sculptures to clambering customers.

But it wasn’t always like this. Born in the United Kingdom in 1975, during the year of the mad March Hare, Glen loves wildlife of all kinds and has a particular affinity with his pet rabbit called Jack Black. Glen’s wife kiwi-born,  Janelle, returned to New Zealand with her husband ten years ago. The pair have easily assimilated into the New Zealand culture, having grown up with respect for the environment. His father, a watercolor artist,  imbued Glen, with love for hunting and fishing, along with a deep respect for nature, while his mother always encouraged and supported the development of his creative talent.

Glen’s contemporary sculptures are made from recycled materials, off-cuts from native timbers, recycled copper, and natural elements like stone and wood found on hikes along the coast in the Hawkes Bay, where he calls Napier his home.

“My studio is set up with my tools and materials which function like instruments in an orchestra, and I’m the composer. The finished artwork is the musical masterpiece,” Glen explains.

With a unique style, Glen’s work has clicked with an eager art market, and some of his pieces are re-purposed as magnificent sports trophies. At first, he created a series of stylised copper cyclists racing across a stave sliced from a curved portion of an old wine barrel.

Glen continually scours recycling plants and construction businesses for items he can transform into beautiful works of art. “I see shapes in materials and think how it will form part of a subject  I want to create,” Glen describes. “Some things can take a year to manifest, but they all slot into place eventually.”

With an imaginary picture-board in his head, Glen adds images to it, as he goes about his daily life. When he’s ready to create a new sculpture, he looks through the collection on the imageboard in his mind. He selects different combinations of forms to develop the concept design before preparing to create his next masterpiece.