Visitors to the open day today at the world-famous art event CollaboratioNZ might see heavy cannon shells adorned with glass bubbles, wood sculptures draped with fine woven wires or a huge burr from a tree pierced by copper wings.

Really, it's impossible to imagine what will turn up out of the stockpile of ''junk'' and the amazing talents and multi-media materials the artists bring with them.

Timaru multi-media artist Irwin Seyb, left, and carver Beau-Jack Key from Hawaii pull out the big guns on their collaboration.
Timaru multi-media artist Irwin Seyb, left, and carver Beau-Jack Key from Hawaii pull out the big guns on their collaboration.

Today, from 10am to 3pm, is the only chance the public can take a look at the variety of pieces and some of the processes they go through before being auction-ready on Saturday.

Sixty five artists are being hosted at the Mt Manaia Baptist Camp at Whangārei Heads, working together with metal, wood, glass, stone, fibre, paint, print, clay and jewellery.

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As well as sharing and learning new skills, the artists extend their art practice while collaborating with others, producing exciting art pieces that take everyone involved along on a creative trip.

 Josephine Dorman, from New South Wales, gets the measure of her art materials.
Josephine Dorman, from New South Wales, gets the measure of her art materials.

Maile Andrade, a multi-media artist and a lecturer in the native art programme at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, said she is enjoying her first visit to CollaboratioNZ.

Andrade said she attended indigenous artists' gatherings whenever possible but it was her first visit to CollaboratioNZ.

This year are visiting artists from Australia, France, USA, two from Hawaii and from all over New Zealand.

 Maile Andrade, a multi-media artist and a lecturer in the native art programme at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, working with glass, wood and fibre.
Maile Andrade, a multi-media artist and a lecturer in the native art programme at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, working with glass, wood and fibre.

CollaboratioNZ chairman Steve Haywood said the biennial, voluntary-run experience which has been held in or near Whangārei since 1997.

The artists will produce more than 100 unique pieces in 10 days from March 8 to 16, with a no-reserve auction of the pieces at Forum North on Saturday. All proceeds go back into paying the event's costs, Haywood said.