Waka & Kali - Pacific influence of New Zealand relevance

Peter’s work often draws reference to the Pacific in form, texture, colour and pattern. Waka, or boat forms are created in paper clay and Egyptian paste. In collaboration with Julie, Kali developed after working in French Polynesia, and were informed both by the headrest form, and also by the traditional tattoo patterns.


Waka and Waka-ama are terms widely used to describe the dug out canoes and out-riggers found throughout the pacific region. Peter’s love of sailing and the fabulous marine environment that surrounds us has inspired him to use the form of these age old vessels for his WAKA series.

Collections of Wakas - a variety of colours and sizes are available, as well as customisation for corporate gifts.

Combined with a knowledge of the woven baskets and printed tapa-cloth, he has utilized the patterns and weave to construct these pieces, no longer from traditional textiles but the innovative use of paper clay.

The texture and colours remind us of the clear light of the pacific, sea, sky and flowers,  the textures of old wood, stones and sand, now created with layers of glaze covered with Egyptian paste.

These objects are “all about the pacific”.

Inquire about Waka options here.


Informed by Kali, wooden headrests found throughout Polynesia and the vibrancy of tattoo patterns Peter and Julie Collis have collaborated on this work.

During a recent trip to Bora Bora, one of the Leeward Islands NW of Tahiti, we observed wooden Kali. The spiritual and ceremonial purposes of the Kali along with the living art of Tattoo had a profound impact upon us and this piece is a direct response to that.

This simple elevated form made of paper clay, glaze and Egyptian paste pays homage to the patterns and textures of the pacific region, but also references ceremonial objects.