While studying Te Reo Māori and Akoranga Aotearoa – Māori Language and New Zealand Studies – at the Waikato University I got introduced to the art of Raranga Whakairo – Māori Weaving by renowned Māori fibre artist and tutor Donna Campbell.

A research project about Whāriki weaving offered me the chance to meet Mick Pendergrast (1932 – 2010), author of various publications about Māori Fibre Arts and fibre arts in the Pacific region.  After a glimpse at his amazing collection of woven artefacts from across the Pacific Rim, I was inspired to face the challenge of practising and exploring the ancient craft of Raranga Whakairo.

I am enjoying all aspects of raranga: harvesting, preparing and dyeing of whenu (weaving strips), the actual weaving process, as well as the smell and feel of the plant Harakeke at its various stages.

But most of all, I am fascinated by the pattern’s beauty arising from the very nature of the raranga weaving technique.

My favourite pattern is Papaka, the crab.

  • Born in Zwenkau, Saxony, former East-Germany

  • After the fall of the Berlin Wall, study of Sociology and Psychology in Berlin (Germany) and Bucharest (Romania)

  • Married New Zealander and migrated to New Zealand in 1998

  • Since 2000 working as German – English translator and interpreter

  • Started painting in acrylics and oil

  • Practising Raranga Whakairo since 2008

  • Completed BA in Te Reo Māori at Waikato University in Hamilton in 2010

  • Currently PhD research for thesis Neighbours at Puhoi River: A Cross-Cultural Dual Biography of Te Hemara Tauhia and Martin Krippner at the University of Waikato