Waipu’s Greg Maddox is a man of many talents and many of his advertising banners and graphic creations are dotted throughout some of the major cities of the world. Nowadays settled in Waipu with partner Sarah Archer, the draw of the seaside has become the major influence in the establishment of Tapatai Driftwood Creations.
Working in a medium unfamiliar to most, it takes weeks to gather the tons of driftwood required to fulfil the big ideas, much of it com-ing from East Cape beaches.
Not one to do things by halves, Greg began with lizards and a wetas, all many times larger than life, plus several other obje’t d’garden art seen on garden rambles around the district, but the biggest and best was yet to come.
A 1.2m high Pukeko found a home at a Hawkes Bay vineyard and he recently sold a full-size driftwood dairy cow to a client in Christchurch.
An eagle with wings spread, a hammerhead shark and an emu are also part of the ‘stable’ but the latest release is Woody the Raptor. At four metres long and two metres high he’s probably near enough to life-size and while prob-ably not suited to ones mantel-piece he could well find a home in an amusement park, museum or movie set.
Made from pohutukawa driftwood, Woody is currently listed for sale on Trade Me with a four thou-sand dollar reserve and no shortage of watchers.
“He certainly has a place in the right environment,” says Greg confidently.
Despite the size the beast is reasonably easy to lift.
“The body is a skeleton framework and the driftwood is cladding so it’s not as heavy as it looks but it’s important to choose the heavy and light wood for the right parts to keep it balanced and in perspective,” he says.
If Woody ever finds a mate Waipu could have it’s own Jurassic Park in the not too distant future.