Sparkling summer success saves pair from boredom

The Dominion, 28 November 1998

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FOR students Caro Pinfield and Tanya Halley, also known as the Gash Grinders, dishwashing and envelope stuffing just wasn't going to cut it for a summer job. The duo had spent the last year developing a show-stopping sparky spectacular - mashing angle grinders into each others' mild steel "armour".

When Ms Pinfield went into Victoria University's Student Job Search to job-hunt recently, she eyed a section on the back of the form asking for special talents, including entertainers. "I thought what we do was at least unusual and entertaining," she said.

Mrs Halley saw the spectacle at a performance in London and developed it when she returned to study engineering.

She said the sparks were not dangerous and though there had been some "close shaves", they took their own safety and that of the audience seriously. "We have a safety person there every time we perform. The sparks aren't too hot but the metal heats up from the constant grinding. That's when the leather underneath protects us."

The unusual display debuted at a private fetish party and the women have been working regularly since at raves, private parties and at an Auckland Gothic Ball. They would also be performing at the New Year dance party The Gathering, held at Takaka.

But their most unusual gig so far?

"That would have to be the Harley-Davidson motorcycle club's 10th anniversary," Ms Pinfield said. "Thousands of guys on motorcycles wearing bold leather and pale denim watching us going at it... and loving it."

Both women said they much preferred their current jobs to previous sentences of menial labour over the summer. "There's a lot to be said for pulling on some leather and... making the sparks fly," Ms Pinfield said.


Caption: ANTHONY PHELPS The Gash Grinders, Tanya Halley, left, and Caro Pinfield, demonstrate their show-stopping alternative to boring student summer jobs

The Dominion, 28 November 1998

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