Celebrated Kiwi artist opens studio to public for one day only

His works adorn the homes of Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Michael Hill, and Stephen Fry - but you don't have to be rich and famous to view Max Patté's art.

But you do have to be quick: on Saturday, the artist is opening his Wellington studio to everyone for one day only.

"I really enjoy showing my work, especially in this kind of environment," he told Newshub. "I mean this essentially my home, I spend probably 80 percent of my time here, so it's great to allow people to come in and see where it's made."

With many of his works snapped up by private buyers, Saturday will be a chance for people to see things they might otherwise never get to, as well as chat with Patté in the space where they were all made.

"Whoever might be interested in the work, I like to talk to them about the processes. Every time I have a conversation with somebody about a particular piece, I'm learning about it as well because I learn what their view is," he says.

His sculpture 'Solace in the Wind' has stood on Wellington's waterfront for a decade, but he hopes visitors will appreciate what he's done since.

"They can see how that work has changed from academic sculpture, cast iron, steel, and now I'm using much bolder colours, contemporary materials," he explains.

The father of two young children, Patté is looking particularly forward to speaking with kids, who he says often ask the best questions.

"My work became much more outward looking, much more colourful and playful [since having children], and for that reason it's great to have kids here looking at the work and getting their response to it."

The works, mostly from the last 18 months, range from $450 to $80,000 - but Patté's keen to get to know everyone who buys something.

"I've kind of likened it to wanting your kids to go to the right school. It's nice to be able to meet the collector who takes a piece of work away, because you've probably spent minimum weeks, sometimes months, even years working on a piece."

Ten percent of the profits will go to marine education charity Mountains to Sea Wellington, which has inspired a number of his recent works.

"It's about instilling that knowledge in the younger generation, in the hope that they will take that through to protect the environment in a better way than we have to date," he says.

The proceeds will also help fund a four-month trip to the US and Europe, where he'll no doubt find more inspiration for future works.

Patté's studio will be open to the public from 10am - 4pm at 104a Park Rd, Miramar, Wellington.