Weaving is a passion. I can’t go for many days without ‘loom time’.
It began for me in 1977 when I had a very young family. I fitted lessons around the needs of my children and rapidly became addicted. Once the children were at school, weaving became pretty much full time and I started to submit my work for exhibitions. After success in several national exhibitions I felt confident enough with the quality of my work to begin to sell it on a regular basis. At first I did this through galleries, later through a marketer, and now most of my work is commissioned though I still exhibit occasionally.
My greatest love is to weave fine fabrics. I make scarves, wraps and cloth for garments or upholstery. However, every now and then I am asked to make a woollen floor rug or more often sofa throws of a mohair/wool combination. These latter are usually woven to meet the needs of the client’s décor so the challenge is to succeed in achieving this.
I work on two very different looms. One is an eight-shaft Mecchia dobby loom and the other a 50 pattern shaft Oxaback combi draw loom, the latter is both challenging and rewarding. I use it to weave decorative pieces as well as table linen, cushions and cloth from which to create fashion garments.
In 1990 I was lucky enough to win a New Zealand Wool Board award for Fashion in Wool and in the same year to be granted a study and travel grant from the then Queen Elizabeth Arts Council. I used this to go to Convergence in San Jose California and took several classes whilst there.
I helped with the set-up of Stansborough Fibres designing fabrics for their woven lines and around that time I also worked for Peter Jackson’s team making cloth for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Now, after more than thirty years of loom experience I take great pleasure in passing on my skills teaching at all levels.