Teaching the Grandchildren to Weave 
My son's ten year old twins, Brennan and Cairenn have been staying with me and Kris for the weekend and they have been quite intrigued by the tapestries. Brennan had a go on my tapestry weaving the edge section. He is quite a natural working well with his hands and only had to be told once what to do and he could do it.

I made small card looms out of foam card and put warps on them for the kids to make their own small tapestries. Here is a photo of Brennan and Cairenn weaving them.

Progress on Barbara's tapestry. I have started weaving the middle section and this part should go a little faster as it is mostly weaving over and under two threads. Lots of colour changes but it is develooping well.

In Memory of..... 
My longtime friend Peter died about a week before I left Christchurch. I first met Peter when I was 15 years old and he was 21 and we have been close friends ever since. He has been a major part of my life all my life really, and I miss him such a lot. Luckily he didn't suffer for too long and passed on peacefully at the end. I worked on this drawing as part of my grieving process and in his memory.

Back to My Blog at last 
Well here I am again after another long break from my blot. It has been a very eventful time for me since my last entry in January. February was spent working hard on my cousin Kevin's tapestry as it had to be finished before my shift to Hamilton. I was so pleased to get the work off the loom and here is a photo of my daughter Krista cutting the wefts for me. She and her husband Paul had come down from Hamilton to help me pack up the house and studio so I thought it would be a good thing for her to cut this tapestry from the loom as Kevin was away from Christchurch at this time and unable to do it himself. My friend Serena is helping.

And here it is up on the wall with all the finishings completed and packing materials underneath - empty walls in the hallway.....

The furniture truck came about a week later and my friend Biddy and i were away on our road trip heading towards Hokitika, Westport, Picton, Palmerston North, New Plymouth and finally Hamilton where we arrived safely after having a lovely trip. Since then I have been living with Krista and her family and have my loom set up in a wee area in her home.

I finished the small tapestry which Betty Pears asked me to weave for her. You can see it on the frame in this photo. It was a portrait of her husband's great aunt and was designed by Betty who has been a very good tapestry weaver but is not weaving any more.

And then it was back working again on Barbara Allen's tapestry of Duvauchelles. This work had gone on hold while I was finishing the portrait tapestry and it was rather a good feeling to be back working on this one. The fine section depicting the Onewe Peninsula took me almost three weeks to weave. The sett of this section of the tapestry is 12epi and quite detailed, but I am pleased with how it is looking.

And now I am ready to start work on the middle section of this tapestry. The design is broken up into a triptych with the overlappig panels.

A work in Progress  
Here are a number of photographs showing the progress of the Maureen and Tony tapestry from its start to its almost finish. Since my decision to shift from Christchurch to Hamilton I have been working very hard to try and complete this tapestry before I leave Christchurch at the end of February. This week it is on hold as I am in Hamilton until next Sunday, so I will really have to work very hard to get it finished. Lucky the most difficult sections are done and it is just a matter now of finishing Tony's jacket.

This first image shows the beginning of the work. The cartoon shows Maureen's face well. The rest of the cartoon is rolled around the baton at the top.

Maureen's face is developing well.

The face is pretty much finished and I have been working on the flowers on her dress. The dress was so complex that it took a long time to weave - lots of small shapes and many colour changes, but I love weaving detail like that.

Tony's hand is finished and I am almost ready to start weaving his face. This was a challenge as I really wanted to capture the wicked look in his eye which was a characteristic of his mischievous personality.

Hoorah! I think I have achieved what I set out to do! I started weaving his face just after the new year.

Tony's tie took a lot of weaving - five days altogether. I thought it was never going to get finished.

And this is where I am up to now. I introduced the bright green background the other day and am pleased with how it lifts the wole work. The finish line can be seen in this photograph so still quite a bit to weave.

Holiday Time 
I haven't done much weaving over the last couple of weeks what with Christmas happening, then a trip to Westport to stay with my sister Yvonne for a week. I have had a lovely break, and now it is time to get back to work and also to make another huge decision for the rest of my life. I have to shift house in early March as new owners have bought this lovely house I have been living in for the last 12 months and I have to find somewhere else to live. I am seriously looking at going back up north to settle in Hamilton. I need to make that decision in the next week or so.

Anyhow, here are some photos of the last couple of weeks. Christmas Day with family at my little sister Veronica's place. My grandaughter Jenna who will be presenting me with my first great grandchild in March came down from Hamilton with her partner Brent to share our Christmas day. This photo shows Jenna with her cousin Callum. Callum is Veronica's eldest boy.

And here is our Mum on Christmas Day. She hadher 88th birthday yesterday, 4th January.

Boxing Day morning and I was travelling to Westport with my brother Tony Rea. A very early start and here is a lovely pink cloud over North Canterbury, just past Culverden at about 5.30am

And driving through the Rahu Saddle - lovely beech forest in the rain.

My sister Yvonne and I went for a lovely walk along the cliffs from Cape Foulwind to Tauranga Bay. I took heaps of photos of course, and Bruce, Yvonne's husband took the car to the Bay so we didn't have to walk all the way back.

A superb walk with beautiful vistas everywhere we looked.


And now I am home again and back at work. The tapestry is going well. I am now finished Maureen completely and have started work on Tony's face - hoping to catch that cheeky look. My brother Joe took this photo.

"Riding the Waves' An exhibition of new work by Maxine Burney 
Last weekend we had the opening of Maxine Burney's exhibition 'Riding the Waves'

Here is Maxine with the painting that provided the title for the exhibiton. The inspiration for this work has been the loss of her studio in the Arts Centre of Christchurch after 14 years working there, and since then Maxine has had to reassess the way she can go about her artistic life - the ups and downs of the past two years since the earthquake have challenged her to produce the work for this exhibition.

Friends from Australia  
A few weeks ago now Janet de Boer, her husband Peter and Garry Benson came to stay on their first night in New Zealand. They were travelling around the South Island and had a great time. Garry and Peter stayed another night before they left to go home as Janet had gone back to Australia earlier. We had a lovely visit. I took them on a bit of a tickey tour out to Sumner and around the city to see some of the damage that the earthquake has done to our lovely city. And a lovely meal at a Thai restaurant.

Me with Janet and Garry.

With Peter

And with Garry. It was Garry's birthday on the day they returned so we celebrated with a tiny birthday cake.

An Exhibition at the Hallway Gallery 
This weekend I hung an exhibition of lovely abstract paintings by two artists Kay Hunter and Susanne Van Tuinen. The works went up very easily and they look great in the space. Here is a lovely image of Susanne hanging one of her small abstract paintings with Kay standing at the back of the Hallway.

And here are Kay and I with two of her works which has just gone up on the wall.

Last evening we had the opening and a lot of people attended. Three of Kay's paintings were sold. This photo shows the table all set up just before the first guests arrived.

For the last few weeks I have been working on two commissioned tapestries. The first one is a portrait of my Uncle Tony and Aunty Maureen. This work has been commissioned by my cousin Kevin Hickman and will be an heirloom work for his family.

The photo below shows how the tapestry is looking this morning.

I am really enjoying weaving this tapestry. It is very fine, 11epi with the 12/6 Cotton warp. There is so much detail in the work that it needed to be fine. The finished size will be 105 x 95cm.

I usually work one week on the portrait tapestry and one week on the landscape tapestry which is the one below. This tapestry has been commissioned by Barbara Allen and shows the view from her home at Duvauchelles on Banks Peninsula. Barbara will be moving from there sometime soon and wanted a tapestry that would remind her of her time living in such a lovely place. She also wanted me to weave some of the things that she was very fond of such as the pohutakawa flower, the Boatsheds, etc. I decided to include these as inserts into the main landscape. The tapestry is warped at 12 epi and I am weaving the inserts at 12 and the main landscape over two threads giving a sett of 6 in this area. That enables me to weave the finer detail in the inserts. I have noticed also that 6epi I am capturing the essence of the place. Both tapestries are being woven on their sides and as they are such different designs it does take me a wee while to get back into the flow of each one once I start to weave. So week about is a good way to go.

Photos of the Opening of 'Synthesis' 
Last Sunday was the opening of our exhibition at Arts in Oxford. It was a lovely event, lots of people came and it all went off without a hitch.

Speech time! Wilson explaining his love of weave structures. Brent Firken the Gallery Director at left.

Talking with Judy Rodgers.

Wilson with Ria van Lith and Valerie Osborn, both wonderful fabric weavers.

A view of my triptych painting looking through Wilson's scarves

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