When Shanon Povey of MaoriArt was made redundant from 22 years of being a storeman, he found himself at a turning point. Seizing opportunity from chance, he turned to his abilities in woodcarving and moko tattoo, with the goal of using his skills to become self-employed.
What do you make?
I make tattoo designs, Maori woodcarvings, resin necklaces, and paintings in oils, resin, acrylic and watercolours.
How did you get into your craft?
I have been sketching from childhood, so at 17 years of age I had sat in on some glass etching, then continued onto a one year woodcarving course.
Do you have any formal training?
I completed the one year course at Whaiora Marae. Everything else is self taught.
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Quality pencils, paper, watercolours, custom wood boards, chisels, a Dremel, various tools required for the task – and definitely music or some sort of background noise!
Tell us about the techniques involved in producing one of your pieces:
First is the concept, understanding the job at hand, brain storming, research, organising, elbow grease, highlights, sealing, completion…
What inspires you? Improving my artwork!
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
Correctly organise your design, so as to prevent negative energy.
Hokia ki nga Maunga ki a purea koe e nga hau o Tawhirimatea…
Describe your creative process?
I am a battery running fast until the energy is thin, recharging on the music and people that surround me.
Describe your workspace?
I am able to have up to three people participating inside my area at the one sitting.
Five words that describe your mind:
Patient, fun, proud, imaginative, deep in thought…
Your favourite feedback?
“Thank you!” is enough – it usually comes with a smile.
What are you currently listening to?
Dogs by Pink Floyd, from the Animals album.
Recommend a album?
Jeff Wayne’s musical version of The War of the Worlds.
What are you currently reading?
The Reed Book of Maori Exploration: Stories of Voyage and Discovery (research on New Zealand histories). I try to find commonalities that confirm the history, this helps in my design process.
A favourite quote:
“Hokia ki nga Maunga ki a purea koe e nga hau o Tawhirimatea…”
(“Return to the mountains to be purified by the four winds…”).
I try to find commonalities that confirm the history, this helps in my design process.
Who is your hero/heroine? Why? My wife, she helps where she is able.
Tell us about your pets:
Had dogs, bless their personalities! Upgraded to children on their passing.
If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
“Perfection Extreme” – extreme, extreme, extreme… My superpower: stressing and torturing myself with the fine detail!
What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Find established artists on media to compare your artwork to, if they are doing well, and in your opinion your artwork is equal, judge your progress…
What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
A patterned deck of playing cards, the attraction was the concept.
What’s in store for the rest of 2017?
To continue practising my tattoo art, painting… I was requested to do a Maori woodcarving module at the local high school. Also prep for the silly season!