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Sand turned into art

The power of Titanomagnetite

Published: 27 September 2019

Karioitahi Beach’s vast expanses of black sand are the perfect canvas for budding artists.

Families in the Waiuku and surrounding area have snapped up available places on a free school holiday Franklin Community Arts project that harnesses science and art.

The Magic of Titanomagnetite will create striking sculptures on Karioitahi Beach by manipulating the magnetic properties of the mineral titanomagnetite, found in abundance in the area.

Participants learn how the mineral has made its way to the beach, and about the heritage of the area, plus the significance of the area to the local economy.

Using close-up photography, the art creates striking images and the project will culminate in an exhibition of the images at the Waiuku War Memorial Hall.

The programme is open to all ages, and organisers say it is a tactile and fascinating experience. The sessions last about an hour minutes and run Monday to Friday 11a -12pm and again at 1pm-2pm.

Each session is limited to six people, though organisers say if families contact them they can discuss larger groups.


The Magic of Titanomagnetite is supported and funded by the Franklin Local Board.

Bookings have been strong for week one of the holidays, with promotion for week two set to begin, and organisers considering adding a third daily session.

If you would like to participate email linda.newall@xtra.co.nz or phone 0275227653.

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