Sunday, December 18, 2016

Work Shops for school holidays
Fri 23 Dec Matakawau Beachfront

Monday, October 31, 2016

Fabricate Magazine NZ

Cait from our new Fabricate Magazine has kindly let me publish pics from two articles in her new mag, one about and one by me.

This new Magazine is chock full of articles about all things textile with as few ads taking up space as possible. To order a copy do a google search for NZ Fabricate Magazine. She also has a Face Book page you can tap into. 

Making Paper Without a Deckle & Frame

So here I am in Australia with all this beautiful paper bark, knowing it will never get through customs home. What to do?




I bought a short length of gauze and lace net curtaining material. I then soaked the bark, some used paper towels, and some shredded paper in a container of water and household bleach. 
Then it was time for a bit of lateral thinking. Without a deckle and frame, I decided I would dollop the pulp out onto the material and roll it out as a thick sheet of card-like paper so that I could then lay it out to dry. 

Below are photos of the process I used, so I won't bore you with the details as they are fairly self explanatory.

 Below are a couple of pics of the drying paper, along with a dried sheet that I made earlier in the day, using exactly the same method.

So it does work as a make-do method, albeit a bit bulky and rough & ready. I will iron it with a hot iron and hopefully NZ Customs will be ok with me taking it through. If all pans out well, I can reconstitute the sheets once I'm back home, and re-make some finer paper for what I need.. ...Salut 

Sculpture Works

Years ago I bought a reel of fine copper wire and knit up several small cloak-like shapes with the thought that I would incorporate feathers and possibly some strips of tapestry weaving to make korowai type figures.

However they were sort of lost in translation, so were put in the cavernous stash black-hole. 

So after 7 -8 years I finally found a use for one of them in this sculptural work below entitled "I'm Not Available Right Now"

Work includes copper wire, 24ct gold &ivory beads, porcelain doll parts, and mahogany.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Plastic...In the rabid change over from glass to plastic milk containers, we were told the option to purchase our milk in glass bottles would remain a consumer choice. 
For some months this was the case, and a few of us bit the bullet, paying a premium for the privilege to do so. Before long only grapefruit and orange juice were available in the old familiar 600ml glass bottle. This relic is now decades obsolete. I still rage about it.

A few years ago I watched a documentary that followed the recycling journey of this plastic vessel. To add insult to environmental injury, NZ was sending mountains of these used empty milk containers  over to China, where an elderly woman sat in a giant warehouse, removing the blue lids by bare hands. No gloves, no mask, no protective clothing, and earning slave wages. In 2016 we may or may not still be adding the food miles to this insipid industry while our water ways choke and groan and our green house emissions continue to be an international disgrace. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Moth Dolls

Playing with doilies. Not as easy as it seems. Often when I critically assess the success or otherwise of recycling them in a work, I am often disappointed with the results. 
I think it is because in my mind, the original use of these often very beautiful hand-crocheted works, is what I think of first. As soon as I recognise them out of context, I immediately visualise them on a dresser or table, despite any new lease of life they are given.

Here I have tried to create pieces where the doilies are so secondary to the end result, that their new use in the piece is overshadowed. The possibility of their original function is only noticed after the initial response to the work has been accepted.

In this case I have tried to detract from the fact that I have used these ready-made components. Hopefully the individual character of each doll will dominate the viewers interaction. Cute and somewhat disturbing to the eye as a whole, it is only after an initial reaction, that the whole gives over to the different composite parts that make the doll entire. 
These have proven to be a quirky distraction from making other more substantial works. I love them.

To see more of my work visit Warped Art & design on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Co-Lab Project.

I have been making paper and working on ideas for an exhibition in the making. The move from tapestry weaving into mixed and multi media is proving to be an exciting shift in ideas, and extremely liberating. 

This immense sense of freedom is supported by working on a collaborative project that is not contained by any pre-determined  or precise outcome. Nor is it dictated to by having to produce an agreed to body of specific works. 

The three of us meet monthly, and stay in contact electronically in between time.

Extended visual possibilities, concepts and ideas are forming around our theme of displacement and belonging. We have given ourselves licence to let each artist form ideas for the exhibition based on the evolving work we are each undertaking. We are 3 textile artists working in collaboration, without boundaries. Maybe the world too needs more collaboration and less boundaries to co-exist and expand common ideas.

Orange is the colour I associate with boundaries, be they road cones or boiler suits.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


I have decided to stick with this font, its sparseness means I can write very little whilst appearing to have written much. 

I pulled out an old tapestry weaving that had been banished to the cupboard of shame for five years or more. Her re-appearance was the result of a conversation I had with a "kiwi" visiting home on annual leave from working on Christmas Island.
Kangaroo Paw, pencil on trace paper.
Christmas Island is used by the Australian Govt. as an off-shore indefinite holding facility for ex-criminals, refugees and other undesirables.

I was finally able to make use of the shell casing covers I managed to  aquire some time ago. Cut outs of stylised Kangaroo Paw flowers were used to soften the main weaving with a border of flowers.

They are used as a strong symbolic statement for the end work. The juxtaposition of stylised flowers, the cropping of the self-portrait through use of framing defines and contains the woman, the darkness surrounding the face creating a veil like quality. All these combine to present a surface layer of ambiguous meaning from a distance. 

"Ramadhan On Christmas Island"



For those of you who have no idea what a Paula shell loom may be, here are a couple of images taken from a recent day of play, making brooches.
Linen warp, silk slub, cotton, fine copper wire and feathers.
Of course the problem is that the weaving looks so cute in-situ, that no one wants to cut them off the shell when they are finished weaving. These shells grow to quite good sizes in the colder waters of the NZ coastline.

I will be running a community workshop next Saturday at the Franklin Art Gallery in Pukekohe. Give Nansi a ring at the gallery to book a spot. It is free to attend, and there is a morning and an afternoon time slot available.

Good Bye Beautiful Sudio Space

Well these fragments of my studio wall space are but a memory now. Everything is packed up for a new start elsewhere. I am tapping on the door of madness trying to keep an eye(and memory)on the detritus of essentials I need for creative pursuit. 

Genette and company.

These are photos taken from my "protest walls". Alternatively it could be a record of un-sold works, and there may be a connection there, Hmmmm.

Tapestry Weavings By Stephenie Collin


I hope you find Warped Art & Design both interesting and inspiring, and that it will encourage anyone working with fibre to investigate and experiment further within their chosen field.

The basic loom, which is my tool of trade, has remained technologically unchanged. This aspect appeals to me as I weave contemporary images on a machine of such simple and ancient construction.

And if the loom be silenced,
then needles, threads and fingers
have plenty more to say.

About Me

My photo
Waiuku, Auckland, New Zealand
I am an artist, weaver, gardener, mother and grandmother, home food gatherer, political sceptic, modest future eater, and much much more.