Sally reports back from the last Craft Snippets event at Upper Riccarton Library. The next event on Wednesday 30 September will feature local photographer Sandy Brinsdon.
Gina Reid, macramé artist
This time we heard from fibre artist, Gina Reid, who creates the most amazing macramé.
Gina talked about coming from a wonderful family narrative for creativity and her father who was a polymath (new word for me) that is someone whose knowledge spans a number of subjects. In the case of her father it was science and art. Gina talked about her journey that started with sewing and dreams of being a fashion designer, to painting (some paintings and cards were on display), to knitting and crochet after the earthquake (showing us one of her throws) to making soaps and skin care and macramé. The soaps and skincare range is called luxi buff and can be bought online. Gina calls this her ‘bread and butter’ and kindly gave each of us a soap to take home.
But this Craft Snippets talk was all about macramé, an Arabic word meaning knotting. Gina calls this her folly and it began with designing a piece for her son’s wedding combining her son’s Māori heritage and his fiancé’s Croatian culture. Her works are amazing and macramé has certainly progressed from the owl designs of the 70s (a staff member, Angela, brought in the owl her mum had made).
Gina talked about the works on display, how stories are woven in to her works so that they become an expression of life.
Torokiki (green macramé piece pictured below) was made during lockdown and represents the earth regenerating, being able to breath again, the koru design representing new life, though creating macramé circles was very challenging.
Unravelling (white macramé piece pictured above) was made as we came out of lockdown and were reassessing priorities. This work is macra-weave combining macramé elements and weaving using merino and corriedale wool.
Another piece titled ‘Matariki’, has knots representing the nine stars of Matariki and their position in the night sky.
The cord Gina uses is ethically sourced and comes from Lithuania. She hasn’t managed to find the same quality here but keeps looking. Cotton is softer on the hands than traditional twine. Spotlight have a good range and is reasonably priced. The wood used is driftwood found on West Coast beaches.
Gina displays and sells her works at Sollos. This is a beautiful gallery at the Welder in Welles Street. If you haven’t been, do check it out, there is a lovely bakery there and wholefoods shop. Gina does workshops there where you can pop along and learn how to make a wall hanging or manu nest plant hanger. There are lots of other lovely workshops available at Sollos. Gina said she ‘has made peace as a creator’ with working out what to charge, a common question for creatives selling their work. She doesn’t measure by the hours a piece takes, despite also being an accountant. Gina talked about how important presentation is when selling your works, and what is okay at a market is not always okay at a gallery. Gina handmakes cards for her works that tell the story of the piece.
Another place Gina sells her pieces is Gather & You in Rangiora. No one had heard of this so there was great jotting down of where it is. Sounds like a brilliant place for a drive. They also run workshops.
Angela did a round up of the latest crafty books and magazines in the Library. You can put a hold on any of these.
More craft resources and events
We chatted about how you can get some magazines.
Also Beamafilm and Kanopy – both of these work like Netflix and give you access to free movies and documentaries using your library card. If you would like help setting any of these up please pop in and see us or ring the Library on 03-941-7923.
We did a run down of what is happening in crafty world around Christchurch, and people added their own discoveries. There are a good number of markets and fairs happening around the place, our next Craft Snippets event takes place on Wednesday 30 September, and of course, there's our Big Bargain Book Sale – grab yourself a crafty book or magazine at Pioneer Recreation and Sport Centre, Friday 28 and Saturday 29 August.