Sunday, 26 October 2014

Meeting of the Oceans

After a couple of quiet days I have started a new piece of stitchery today.  
We are at BiL for the weekend, which includes Monday as it is a public holiday, and then we are heading south to explore Wellington. 
We have never spent time in Wellington during past visits other than going to Te Papa, the wonderful museum of New Zealand, and having an overnight stop prior to or after crossing between North and South Islands on the Interislander ferry.  As Wellington is the capital city of NZ this seems rather remiss so we are going to stay for a while and enjoy the city and the culture.
Back to the sewing.  
This piece is inspired by the "meeting of the oceans" off Cape Reinga in the far north. 
It will be a turbulent swirl of threads and stitches by the time I have finished.  The piece of embroidery I started at Kahoe is resting!  The next step is to add a tui bird and I am having difficulty getting the outline just right.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Textures on the Beach

I thought I'd take the opportunity to publish another post while I have some wifi.  Today I visited a great beach in Kuaotunu and was taken with the textures of the various rocks and this tree trunk, there's got to be a piece of embroidery coming out of these somewhere, sometime!
And Al found this urchin shell, French knots anyone?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Tourist Trip

Today we have been to more of a touristy place than usual but it was brilliant and we had a really good time, especially Al who spent ages and ages speaking engineering to the main man.
The place was the Driving Creek Railway, just north of Coromandel.  Here are a few pics.  
Note: the creator of the railway, Barry Brickell, is a potter and, as well as his own creations, the railway is punctuated with those of potters who come to work with him.  

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Northland Craft Trust

On our wet journey down from Kahoe we decided to stop in Whangarei.  We have previously visited the Town Basin which is full of cafes and interesting arts and crafts places but the Quarry Arts Centre, a craft collective, tempted us.  As fortune would have it, it turned out that yesterday was an open studios day so there was a lot happening in addition to excellent coffee and cake. As I couldn't be at Angela Daymond's Woad Weekend it felt good to be supporting other artists.

The centre is, as the name suggests, sited in an old quarry.  
A treasure trove of native plants and bird life filled the space and it was sometimes hard to judge whether what we saw was the recent installation of an artist or the remains of the space as a working quarry!
I spotted these great NZ themed printed prayer flags but unfortunately the textile artist was not in her studio.
All around were exciting sculptures, adding to the atmosphere of the quarry.
A resident potter was setting up a raku firing in an old bath.  It will be opened on Tuesday, I shall be sorry not to see the results.  
Meanwhile, I am making progress with my own work:

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Relaxing and Stitching

I have made myself at home in the Kahoe farmhouse where we are staying in the far north of NZ.  A combination of days out and about exploring the area and blissful days at the farm stitching, sitting and relaxing in the sunshine.
The Spring mornings are a little misty before the sun burns through.  My sewing can't compare with the work of this spider.
This is my collection from a beautiful beach we visited yesterday.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Crafts and Plants in Auckland

At the Botanic Gardens in Auckland there are always interesting sculptures to enjoy.  The ones that caught my eye particularly on my most recent visit were "Caught in the Act of Losing You" by Colleen Ryan Priest, inspired by the giant cane rush, Sporadanthus ferruginous and "Splayed" by Regan Gentry, a botanical specimen made from a collection of shovels (and framed by glorious Sakura).  In the Potter Children's Garden was this mosaic in pebbles by John Bottica, "Frangipani".

There are always events taking place and the current one is a celebration of harakeke (phormium/flax) used by the Maori for their weaving and fibre qualities.  It is used for matting, clothing and containers.  I was unable to join a weaving workshop but enjoyed the examples of work on display.  The photographs were taken through glass cases, apologies for reflections etc.

These bags (kete waikiro) were made by Janie Randerson.

This seed capsule and the bag decorated with peacock feathers were woven by Kerry Gillbanks.

The fan of the harakeke plant represents the family (whanau), with the central shoot being the baby and the outer leaves, the parents.  There is a strict protocol to growing and harvesting the harakeke and cultivars are selected on the basis of their strength, quality, durability and colour.