Rebecca M Small
Weaver in United Kingdom
*I will be selling a selection of my baskets at the Christmas Gift Fair at Compton Verney, Warwickshire December 9-11th 2022. Kete whakairo (patterned carrying baskets), smaller baskets ideal for holding gifts and Christmas decorations woven with NZ flax will be available. Tickets to the Fair can be booked via www.comptonverney.org.uk
I'm a weaver from New Zealand, currently living in the UK. I weave kete (baskets) using harakeke (NZ flax) which I harvest and prepare from plants growing locally in Warwickshire.
My interest in Māori weaving was first sparked 25 years ago when I was given a kete that had been woven for me by my friend's cousin. It was the first time I'd received a gift that had been handmade especially for me.
There's a saying "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear". Decades later, after moving from New Zealand to the UK, I found my teacher, Whaea Veranoa Hetet of the Hetet School of Māori Art online.
Through her teaching, not only have I learned the art of Māori weaving, but have also gained a deeper understanding of Te Ao Māori (the Māori world view) and of the tikanga associated with weaving.
One of the many things I love about weaving kete whakairo (patterned baskets) for people is that they are very personalised gifts. Each kete has a story.
From Whaea Veranoa, I learned to keep in mind the person I'm weaving for and what I'd like to express to them throughout the process of creating the kete. This begins when gathering the harakeke; choosing a pattern which symbolises what I'd like to express to them and as I weave the kete.
Each time I weave a kete, I like to think that the recipient will experience the same joy as I did when receiving the kete that was woven for me all those years ago.
Click on the ‘+’ button at the top right hand side of this page to see a selection of my work.
If you'd like to know more about my weaving, to purchase a basket or to commission me to weave a bespoke basket for you or a loved one, do contact me by clicking on "contact me" and completing the form.
As well as weaving, I've been practising ikebana with the Ikenobo School for 15 yrs. I also continue to be part of the Hetet School of Māori Art’s vibrant online community of weavers and serve as a Kaimanaaki for the School.