Friday, 10 July 2009

Profile: Dot Fowke

This winter seems to be the season for looms to be brought out of storage and resurrected. Dot Fowke was valiantly trying to tie up a countermarch loom for a friend of a friend. As she hadn't met either the F of F or a countermarch loom before, Joan and I called for a visit to lend a hand. I let them do the crawling around the floor bit while I took photos. That's Dot's back view in the top photo, and Joan looking as though she really knows what she's doing. Between us we had some success and were rewarded with a cuppa, drinking in Dot's view at the same time (bottom photo), and admiring her working space and marvelling over her loom (centre right photo). It is a unique model, surely one of a kind, made by someone with serious engineering design skills. It can be easily "unlocked" and folded up to be moved. Having been bought at auction it has come without stories - what a shame - I'm sure it could tell a few.

Dot lives at Rarangi in a two-storey house with windows looking out over most of Marlborough. She has a sea view out over Cloudy Bay, the Vernon Bluffs and the Wairau Bar, and also looks south to where Mt Tapuae-o-Uenuku can be seen peeking over the Wither Hills (centre
photo). A very quiet member of the group, Dot's weaving is restricted to the days she is unable to get out into her extensive garden. She has recently completed an Agribusiness course in commercial horticulture and has a certificate to show for it - and another on in plant propagation.
She has propagated about 90% of the plants in her garden - and it's Large! and it's Full! She weaves for family who appreciate her blankets and throws.

by Rose Pelvin

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