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Pillars being created to show way

DELWYN DICKEY
Last updated 05:00 06/03/2014
Nick Charlton
STACKING UP: Designer Nick Charlton shows how the ceramic pillars lining Pt Wells to Matakana walkway will be formed.

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Behind the scenes at Morris and James Pottery the finishing touches are being made to ceramic pillars that will grace a rural walkway between Point Wells and Matakana.

Designer and part-owner of the pottery in Matakana, Nick Charlton, and his team have been hard at work since being given the go-ahead for the $72,000 project funded by the Rodney Local Board.

A proviso on the funding means two separate community walkways will now work together.

The Matakana community has been developing a scenic walkway for several years which ambles beside rural roads on the Omaha flats, and across farmland connecting Omaha beach to the village.

The Pt Wells community had a similar but smaller project underway which saw a walk/cycleway connecting the village to Omaha after developing an unformed legal road, ULR.

Commercial growers in the area were concerned at the time the development of the (ULR) would compromise security for their crops.

The sculptural marker project will combine the walkways with the marker pillars sited at points along both.

While some of the pillars will be stand-alone columns others will form clusters with a resting seat of macrocarpa.

Juggling his work as a product design and innovation tutor with AUT University means Mr Charlton works on the pillars during the two days a week he spends at the pottery. With a holiday home at Pt Wells he hopes eventually to live fulltime in the area.

His cre are sculptural student Mariska De Jager and games animation artist Sheehan Foote, both of Snells Beach

The pillars will be made up of separate unglazed segments which will weather naturally, being distinctive but not intrusive, Mr Charlton says, with stylised maps showing the location on the route.

The segments are hollow with a spongy layer inside to protect the ceramic exterior from movement, then concrete fill around a central pipe.

The segments will then be threaded onto a central pole. Some of the poles will need to go down over five metres into the ground and will be a challenge, Mr Charlton says.

Not just markers, QR codes on the pillars, which are able to be read by cell phones, will also make more information about the area available.

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- Rodney Times

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