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Marianne Aschenbrenner
Marianne Aschenbrenner

It is often said that the past is a great place to look for keys to the future or the best way forward. For Raglan-based weaver Marianne Aschenbrenner, this is in fact the case as she looks to traditional Māori legends and late weaving expert Mick Pendergrast for this.“Mick inspires me. It is a thrill to work with nature and follow early weaving traditions. He made it his mission to collect, document and preserve the knowledge of flax weaving, so it is not forgotten.”
Marianne’s inspiration does not stop there, with colour, patterns and nature also contributing to the beautiful creations she comes up with. These are intertwined into her work, along with an open mind as to what to create next. “Learning never stops, I love to explore new techniques, patterns and enjoy experimenting with different colour combinations.” It would be too easy to look upon her work and not see the effort or thought that goes into each piece. Understanding the subtle nuances of each piece, combined with the work involved from harvesting to resting time, right through to the final product truly makes her work something to behold. Marianne predominantly works with Phormium tenax, more commonly known as New Zealand flax. “It is a plant with many hidden qualities that were valuable in the past and have been rediscovered again. I am combining different leaves – flax, kiekie and pingao – for my bags and hats at the moment. It is a thrill to work with nature and follow these early weaving traditions. Depending on the seasons, flax might need a time to rest, but it is the perfect time to harvest kiekie and pingao. After flax, kiekie leaves are precious. This plant can be found in the New Zealand bush.”
Marianne Aschenbrenner

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