Monty Kirkman

I have always wanted to produce a product from scratch. This general idea was then refined down, to produce a gift product, with a functional purpose, which had some form of artistic expression.  The final inspiration was to draw on my Maori heritage, to give the product an unmistakable, “from New Zealand”, look and feel.

My Maori whakapapa is to the Iwi of Ngapuhi in Northland and, I reside there in Whangarei.  Maori boy is a term, often used in northland as an expression of endearment when addressing a male of Maori decent. The logo “Maori Boy” was born from this expression. 

I’ve been a long term enthusiast for the medium of glass.  The technique that I use, sandwiches the design of ‘on-glaze’ powder between two clear pieces of 3mm glass, which is then fused together at high temperature. The transparency of the top layer lends the design depth, and enhances the vibrancy of each colour.

Low fire “onglaze” is traditionally used by ceramists as a ‘second’ firing over underglaze on fired pots at around 800c.  It so happens that 800c is approximately the temperature that ‘float glass’ (window glass) fuses at, and therefore, compatibility between ceramic onglaze and float glass can be utilized to produce my work.  I use the powder ‘dry’ and not in a liquid form, which ceramists use.  In addition I’ve used a few additional frits to enhance the colour to give added vibrancy and stability when used with glass.

All the designs are my work, and are modern interpretations of traditional Maori design.  I have purposefully tried to keep the designs simple and non symmetrical.  Every design has a story behind it, either imparting something from life’s experiences or my interpretation of Maori taonga (treasures).

Hopefully you will enjoy the design as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them.