Windmill Knot weave: Maori project

Small projects learned right at the beginning of a Maori Visual Arts course for familiarisation with raranga or weaving. The Windmill a basis for some of these projects.



Step One: Prepare two strands of flax. Make a loop around two fingers withone strand, going up, over and around.
Step Two: Take second strand, and thread under then over loop formed with first strand.
Step Three: Still with the second strand, take around back of loop and back to front, coming above itself and going over then under first strand loop.
Front. Tighten each of the four tails until knot is formed.
Back. Finished windmill will look like this.

Ika (fish)

The Ika is a continuation on from the windmill. Make the windmill as shown. Turn over so the back is facing you and continue as follows.

Step One: With back of windmill know facing you and cross formed on back of windmill as shown, take top right strand and fold back to the left as illustrated. Take care that strand being folded back is beside the top part of cross.
Step Two: Following illustration, fold top strand down over strand just bent down, shifting that strand to see the cross from the windmill underneath and threading top strand under the cross to catch and hold the first bent strand.
Step Three: Pull tight, pinching caught blade slightly to make curve. Pinch matching strand underneath to give fish fins a gentle curved shape.

Wasp nest

The wasp nest is a neat little design that can be used as buttons for kete etc. My kids compared it to scooby weaving.

Step One: Starting again with a basic windmill, made with in centre of two pieces of flax so windmill has long strands out each four sides, and with back facing, fold one strand over.
A loop can be seen to be left in this first fold only, this will make it easier at the end of each round to secure each knot. Working around, fold over strand closest to one just folded which secures each fold as you make them
When folding over the forth (last) strand, fold over strand just folded to secure, then tuck under (or thru loop left) first fold and pull through. This makes a completely secure cross over pattern. Continue this until nest is as high as wanted. It is unimportant which strand is chosen to fold first, as long as each successive fold locks each fold down.


A flat structure. The caterpillar is actually incredibly simple to do!

Step One: Using one blade, split in half but leave joined. Fold left hand strand down, towards you and hold, leaving a loop.
Step Two: Wrap right hand strand behind left and around back to where it started.
Create a loop with the right hand strand and bend that back and through the loop on the left. Pull the left loop down to lock the new loop in place.
Step Three: Carry on making loops one side at a time and pulling last loop tight to lock. As the blades naturally thin the caterpillar will curve and narrow.
when you reach the end, pull last loop tight to lock, leaving loop exposed and an antenae dangling back.

Mandy’s Work Journal, Maori Visual Arts


Mandy’s work journal of her journey towards gaining a Diploma in Maori Visual Arts.

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