As it happens, my initial inspiration for my journey into raranga came not in New Zealand but during my travels in the West Pacific Islands, namely the Soloman Islands and Papua New Guinea. We were travelling slowly back home from Asia in our yacht, and stopped amongst so many hospitable people on the way. Trading became a way of life in communities where money was rarely seen. Every time we anchored, canoes would come out to us, and we would trade dry provisions and useful items for fresh fish, fruit and vegetables. The very first raranga I received was a whiri based, banana frond basket full of fresh produce from a village leader's wife, that was koha and had only been made that morning. I've always had an interest in basket ware, and started to collect many pieces along our way. But now I had the idea of learning to weave myself, so that I could come back to these remote and friendly islands and weave with the ladies. So on our return home, I researched weaving and that's how Te Wanaga O Aotearoa came into my life. This piece is my first whiri bottom piece, using the technique that my classmate Kay showed me. I initially thought all baskets were woven with a whiri base. But now I know that is not the case. We are now living in Whangaparapara, Aotea - Great Barrier island. I have harakeke cultivars I like planted ready to weave with. I have work for sale in the two galleries on the Aotea in the summer months at the Elephant Gallery, and all year round Great Barrier Community Hertiage & arts village, Claris.
Elephant Gallery, Puriri Bay, Great Barrier island.
9 Schooner Bay Road, Tryphena. 027 9614315
Gallery open through out the summer,
call ahead for opening times or for a special visit.
Great Barrier island Community Hertiage & Arts Village