This week I took part in a two days kite making workshop with Otaki based kite maker Yvonne de Mill at Whitireia. I am not really a kite fan so I was not quite sure about what to expect and if I would like the result. The first day Yvonne introduced some basic (but important) rules about the structures of kites and gave us a very informative overview about historic and contemporary kites and kite artists around the globe. And she promised that our kites would fly.

This first kite was very basic, made with easy available materials such as food coloring, baking paper, skewers and old video tape for the tails.

kite by Birgit Moffatt kite by Birgit MoffattAnd she was right, they all did fly. And it was exciting indeed.
On the second day, we designed and constructed our own kites. I decided to use natural materials, I found magnolia leaves on the ground already changing color into browns and yellows. They are very sturdy and shiny, easy to stitch. For the frame I gathered some makomako twigs, they are very strong and quite straight. This version does not fly though and the leaves will eventually fade and disintegrate. It will be interesting to see and document how long it takes them to return to the land.

kite by Birgit Moffatt kite by Birgit Moffatt kite by Birgit Moffatt kite by Birgit Moffatt
So I am ready to go to the Otaki Kite Festival this weekend not only watching but also flying my own kite.

During a short visit to Auckland I had the opportunity to visit a few of those lovely eastern beaches north of Auckland. First stop at Hatfield beach, a wide sandy beach with amazing rock formations and little caves shaped by wind, weather and tides. Although only to be admired close up at low tide. Lucky me.

rock formationsrock formations IMG_5820 rock formations rock formations rock formations rock formationsThe second stop was the Wenderholm Regional Park, just a few kilometer north of Hatfield beach. Lovely wooden post beaten by the elements. wooden post wooden post wooden post wooden post
Walking along further along the Puhoi river mouth watching the the rhythm of the waves this piece of wood been tossed and swirled around.piece of woodpiece of wood piece of wood piece of wood IMG_5903 IMG_5904 IMG_5906 IMG_5907


All those sampling is really exciting with often unexpected results. In my studio boxes with little pieces of silks and wool start to pile up so I decided to go one step further and respond in my personal way creating whatever comes out of the flow. Limitation was, only to use the samples of my solar dyeing experiment with exception of the cotton I used as the background.

This piece of backing I stained with mud from the creek running through our farm. I used the thick dark brown mud with a lot of leaf litter, and let the cotton sit in there for about three days. A very tactile and odorous matter…

IMG_5012print stitch dye by Birgit MoffattSome of the silk and merino pieces I eco printed with kapuka leaves.

print stitch dye by Birgit Moffatt

print stitch dye by Birgit Moffattprint stitch dye by Birgit Moffattprint stitch dye by Birgit Moffatt