15 Nov Pebble mosaic impresario
Once an international tennis star, today John Botica is renowned for the absolutely beautiful pebble mosaics he creates for clients around New Zealand – and the world.
“Let’s put it in simple words, where I am today would have not have been possible without Natural Habitats’ senior designer Mark Read,” reveals John. “Mark’s integrity was at risk with his high esteemed clients by involving me in two projects where there was initially no proven record of my performance.”
Mark remembers going to see John and asking him if he had done any pebble mosaics – and “no” was the answer.
“John then went and did a lot of research and ‘Frangipani’ was the first design – and it was really advanced right from the start, says Mark.
Mark’s clients loved Mark and John’s design and the Frangipani mosaic was completed at the end of 2004. The two collaborated again the following year on a beautiful design by Mark called Compass Rose.
“I was so ecstatic about this art that took me further to new horizons,” remembers John. “Working together with Mark was memorable – his talent for design and professionalism is to be admired.”
Since spring boarding into the world of landscape design thanks to Mark, John has now completed many works in both private and public domains throughout New Zealand.
While each is unique, perhaps the most important public work from historical perspective was the five pebble mosaics John created and installed for the Bastion Point Art Integration early in 2016 for the Auckland City Council.
“John has gone from being excellent at pebble mosaics to probably the best in the world,” says Mark.
To get that good John’s technique is painstaking. There’s weeks of hand-selecting pebbles for their size and colour, the creation of custom made molds for the differing sections, an unwavering grip on a pair of industrial tweezers, and grout “three times stronger than cement”. Many of John’s works feature the flora and fauna of New Zealand.
“All of my mosaics are special to me but the Huia is the most special one,” reveals John “This is my best work that I have done so far. So much love went into this work and so much love goes into all of them.”
But hands off, The Huia has been acquired and will be installed at a private residence in Ponsonby. For your own unique mosaic that will be there for centuries to come contact Mark Read at Natural Habitats, ph 0508 422 482, email@example.com