Sculptor’s work taking off

Zane MacDonald’s side hustle is attracting plenty of attention and helping him achieve his ultimate goal of taking to the skies.

Zane, from Waitetuna, works as a welder four days a week and spends the other three days creating stunning sculptures from an assortment of old tools, car parts, machinery and other random pieces of metal.

It was only meant to be a way to earn a few extra dollars to contribute to his big goal of obtaining his helicopter licence.

“I started this side hustle thing like three years ago, but now it’s kind of gone in a different direction,” he says.

Aside from the financial benefits, it’s also enabled him to rekindle his love of art.

“I’ve kind of been into art since I was a young kid but I kind of lost it during college. Then I found a career in welding so I kind of just started making little stuff, little pieces of art and sold them,” he says.

“And then I made my first big sculpture probably two years ago now and a lady in Waipu Cove bought it, and she’s already commissioned two more, within the past year or so. It’s all hit me at once. Unexpectedly, but it’s good, I like to grow.”

Sometimes a piece of metal might look like a leg, or other times ideas just come to him.

“My mind works quite differently to a lot of people. It’s all visualised, 3D inside and stuff, but my ideas just pop up and then I just go with whatever really. I like the challenge but I put my heart and soul into it.”

And while his side hustle has turned out better than anticipated, Zane says it’s all part of his plan.

“My main goal in life is to become a helicopter pilot, so this is just another step that I’m creating for myself to get to that dream. Like, I know life’s a journey, not the destination, but the helicopter is the end goal that I’m trying to achieve, but I have to take steps to get there and starting the side hustle thing was a step.”

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