Quirky toys get students fizzing

03:50, Nov 21 2013
steam punk fish
STEAM PUNK FISH: CPIT design and art students have created the most eclectic toys just in time for Christmas. Kophie Sua-Hulsbosch shows off her metal steam punk fish.

Christmas is just around the corner and for children it's all about the toys. However, for CPIT design students and tutors, toys don't necessarily equate to wrapped packages sitting beneath the tree.

Metal spiders, turtles with cities in their shells and steam punk fish are some of the wares on display in the students' Toy Shop exhibition in the Sumner Art Window on Marriner St.

"Each year, with the design students, we try to do something different," said tutor Henry Sunderland, who also came up with the flowers in road cones movement to commemorate the anniversaries of Canterbury's earthquakes.

"The idea is to get students to think laterally and creatively."

He and fellow tutor Carol King collaborated to come up with this year's theme of quirky toys that made the "young and young at heart go 'oooh'."

They found the Sumner Art Window, run by Paul Granger, to be a perfect fit for the exhibition. "It lends itself for an exhibition that you can see from the windows."


He also contributed his own creations, including his "rock wheeler", which is basically a rock on wheels.

Kophie Sua-Hulsbosch, who contributed a steam punk fish to the collection, said the class had a big brainstorm and came up with three lists - a list of toys, another contained associated words and the third had a list of actions. "We mixed them all together to come up with random things.

"I was going to do a steam punk fish with a vintage look but I couldn't find the right stuff."

Her fish is made out of chicken wire and rivets. It took her five weeks to put together.

Fellow student Henry Meller-Maddever created a turtle carrying a city on its back inside a transparent shell. "I didn't want the city to be on its shell because it would look like it was put on there. I was thinking about the organism and all the little bits that make up an organism and drawing a parallel between the city and an animal."

He had started off thinking about a spaceship, but it quickly morphed into something animal themed.

Sunderland said the window had been very well received by passersby and especially school children who would peer in.

"It has the feel of a toyshop from when I was a kid back in the 50s and 60s.

"Kids down here, they were passing it after school and going, 'Wow, look at that weird thing.' "

The display is expected to stay in the window until Christmas arrives.

The Press