As much as I curse them as they try to slap my face as I’m cycling along the waterfront on my way to Wellington, I think that harakeke in bloom are a thing of great beauty. In fact, I might even be a little bit obsessed with drawing them – if you ever come across a page of my doodles, you will almost certainly find a few of them.
I also love the statuesque forms of cabbage trees (ti kouka) striding across the landscape. Even in utero I had an obvious affinity with them – my mother’s waters broke while she was at an art gallery looking at a painting of a cabbage tree!
So, when I did a introduction to screen printing class last year at Wellington Makerspace, and needed an image at short notice, it’s little surprise that this is what I came up with.
One of my current business objectives is around starting to create my own fabric designs. Now, this is definitely a bit of a stretch goal for me, for although once upon a time I was going to be a primary school teacher specialising in art education, somehow over the last 20 years I’ve drawn less and less. I guess this is going to force me to draw more! I also have a bit of upskilling to do in terms of my digital image manipulation, so I can begin designing fabrics for digital printing as well. But in the meantime, I’m looking forward to rekindling my teenage love of printmaking.
All this brings me to the first fabric of the week for 2014 – my own design, Ti Kouka me Harakeke, screen printed onto calico or upcycled heavy white drill, in chocolate brown or dark green. Products you can have made from this are:
- Simple calico tote, Height: 40cm, Width: 35 cm – $25
- Market bag, white cotton drill, reinforced flat bottom, Height: 35 cm Width: 33 cm Depth: 10cm – $40
- Small piped cushion, calico, with vintage button closure on back, Height: 35 cm, Width: 35 cm – $60
- Lampshade, calico, design printed multiple times around circumference, Diameter: 30cm, Height: 27 – $90
Here’s what it looks like made up as a cushion.