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Harakeke Lace Thread Lace
Random Connections Classes
I have been a bobbin lacemaker since 1991. I attended workshops in my native Northern Ireland and in 1996 began teaching adult education classes while continuing to learn more about the many and varied types of bobbin lace.
In 2005 I immigrated to Aotearoa/New Zealand where I discovered the versatile plant harakeke (New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax). This led to study at the University of Waikato where learning Māori weaving gave me an understanding of both the material and its cultural significance.
As a result in 2008 I developed ‘lace-leaves’ (see page-heading photo) which bring together two areas of fibre-working from different cultural contexts. I adapted Māori methods of extracting muka (harakeke fibre) to obtain fibres which emerge from the still-attached leaf tips. By keeping part of the leaf whole the origin of the fibres is an obvious and dominant part of the work, acknowledging the cultural meanings held within harakeke. I use skills from my European heritage, bobbin lace techniques, to work the fibres into various patterns which are influenced by the constraints of the natural material. I continue to make and develop this harakeke lace.
I also make thread lace, contemporary lace using a variety of commercial threads. I design my own work, challenging the form of traditional bobbin lace while using the techniques to produce something new.
Anything i write which doesn’t fit the other categories you will find under random connections.
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