On my first day I was given a tour of all the departments inside Weta Workshop, I think 13 but to be honest it was like a maze of endless surprises and wonder. I was introduced to the incredible team that work in the mould making department. I spent four days there with them. I have such huge respect for this team, their work is hard, complex, sometimes dirty, often for periods of time in breathing masks and dealing with lots of chemicals. Their knowledge and skill base were so impressive, at times I felt like I was in a chemistry lesson! The moulds needed to be so exact and precise and the finished articles that were cast from the moulds were so beautiful. A combination of skills from the design, milling, moulding, casting and paint departments, these objects were works of art and truly exquisite to behold.
The team were good fun, we shared jokes and told funny stories and worked hard to get each days tasks completed, they were also very patient with teaching me new processes I was unfamiliar with and answering all my questions.
On my fifth day at Weta Workshop I was moved to the costume department. I thought I was happy being in mould making but when I entered the costume department and began working something shifted inside me. My heart just lifted and I felt full of excitement and joy and it hasn’t gone away yet! The tools and objects surrounding me were familiar, sewing machines, dress makers dolls, pots of pins, scissors and fabrics; but the materials I was introduced to I had never worked with before, and in my own independent practice I probably never would as they too were the result of the casting and mould making departments. I was so glad I had spent my first four days in the mould making rooms as the items in front of me were now not a mystery and I understood how they had been created and the processes involved. It took me a couple of hours to familiarise myself with the working procedures dealing with these new materials, but I think I’ve got it down now…and practice makes perfect!!
I’m meeting so many incredible humans, each with such a variety of astounding talents. Being in Weta Workshop is like swimming in an ocean of beauty and creativity. I can’t wait for each new day to begin and I’m sad when it’s going home time, but it’s good to let the brain have a rest and file all the new information before it starts compiling the next days. I am learning so much!
– Joanna Peacock, January 2015
Photo credits: 1. Weta Workshop, 2. & 3. Joanna Peacock