Artist announces arrival by auctioning sculpture

A Twizel couple hope the auction of a large Dragon and Phoenix sculpture will lead to the start of a new high-end furniture and art business in the town.

Serafina and Kahika Tane, who moved to Twizel in January after becoming "fed up with the earthquakes in Christchurch and Rangiora," listed their first item on Trade Me this week

The piece, a 1.2-metre diameter, hand carved and hand painted Dragon and Phoenix wood sculpture, has a starting bid of $5000.

Whoever wins the auction will get the opportunity to name their first range of designer furniture, and to own a piece.

"It's a bit different to start up this way, but we thought we should give it a go," Ms Tane said.

"Kahika has spent more than 600 hours on this first piece, it's been a real labour of love. We're hoping that in the future we will be able to send the designs up to contractors, who will be able to assist us."

Ms Tane said the pair had lived in Melbourne for nearly five years, working in the banking industry.

"Kahika never stopped thinking about art, or painting things, but he never had the freedom to do as much as he wanted," she said.

The couple moved back to Christchurch in 2010, where Mr Tane took courses at the Natcoll Design School. Their first son, Noa, was born in October that year.

"Kahika finished his course the week before the February 22 earthquake," Ms Tane said.

"All of our belongings in the house got smashed. We spent some time in Rangiora, but eventually we got so sick of the earthquakes that we moved down to Twizel at the start of this year. It's certainly been a change of pace, but we're enjoying the peace and quiet."

Ms Tane, who will manage the business out of their home, acknowledges that starting it up via Trade Me is a bit different.

"We want it to be really high-end stuff, but also really functional. We don't want to just make items for collectors. A lot of people have been surprised by our plans, but you never know what opportunities are out there. It's fun to be following your dream." she said. "Who knows where it will take us."You can find the auction on

The Timaru Herald