When I saw some woven blades on a flax bush it ignited my curiosity. I devoured the ‘Fun with Flax’ book by Mick Pendergrast and then Ali Brown’s book on weaving flax flowers, and was completely hooked! Attending my first weaving weekend in 2010 at Pa Te Aroha Marae in Whirinaki, Hokianga, was where I first started learning traditional weaving.
It is important to me to follow Maori tikanga (protocol) in the harvesting and preparation of flax. In doing this I acknowledge the many people who have shared the gift of raranga (weaving) with me. I have been lucky to weave with some of the best who have kindly and gently mentored me along the way. Mandy Sunlight is the kaiako (teacher) and organiser of those wonderful weekends, where knowledge, great kai (food) and many a laugh are shared freely. Two highly accomplished artists, Toi te Rito Mahi and Maureen Lander, often join these weekends, proving that weaving has evolved into a serious contemporary art form.