Konk-Korde Mark 2 sculpture takes off

By Kristin Edge

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Malcolm Ford has created a copper sculpture titled Konk-Korde Mark 2 that will go to an art collector in Taranaki after the first one went up in flames. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Malcolm Ford has created a copper sculpture titled Konk-Korde Mark 2 that will go to an art collector in Taranaki after the first one went up in flames. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Malcolm Ford has built a Concorde in his garage.

But now he's faced with getting the flying machine south to Taranaki to its new art collector owner. He's not sure how that will happen.

However, what Mr Ford can confirm is the intricate sculpture won't be flying under its own steam. It's not the first time the 87-year-old from Whangarei has built a Concorde plane.

He has spent the past three months carefully crafting the Konk-Korde Mark 2 version after the first went up in flames.

In 1996 he sold the first model, named Konk-Korde, but Mr Ford was not sure who had bought it. It was only in February this year that he learned where his sculpture had flown to and of its unscheduled demise.

The original "Konk-Korde" made by Malcolm Ford in 1994.
The original "Konk-Korde" made by Malcolm Ford in 1994.

The sculpture had been bought for New Plymouth engineer and art patron John Matthews by his wife Lynda.

Unfortunately their home and a majority of their contemporary New Zealand art collection featuring major works by Don Driver, Ralph Hotere, Tony Fomison and Michael Smither went up in flames in January, 2014.

So Mr Matthews commissioned Mr Ford to make a replacement sculpture. The latest version is longer, wider and taller.

"I'm glad it's finished, it's taken a while. It's been pretty tricky getting all the parts connected and joined together with rivets or wire," Mr Ford said.

But the smile on his face tells you he's proud of his latest creation.

"The engines took the most time to cut all the propeller blades."

Photo / Michael Cunningham
Photo / Michael Cunningham

The copper used on the 55cm-tall sculpture came from old toilet cisterns. The plane measures about 1.3m long and 85cm wide.

Photo / Michael Cunningham
Photo / Michael Cunningham

There were no detailed plans for the eye-catching piece, just images in Mr Ford's mind.

But the former teacher and engineer used the charred remains of his first work as inspiration.

Photo / Michael Cunningham
Photo / Michael Cunningham

He has also been commissioned to make another piece for Mr Matthews in recognition of his company's heritage. It will be a tanker with a complicated spraying system used in the process of laying bitumen roads.

- Northern Advocate

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