Jill Fleming is a Weaver (Fibre artist) currently living in Rotorua New Zealand with her American husband Toby and daughter Ellen. She was born in 1960 and after an extended period living in Europe and later in the US she and her family returned home to Rotorua where she now works from.
From an early age, Jill has been passionate about, textiles and fibre arts, and has worked in many aspects of both mediums. She completed courses in Clothing and Textile design at Wellington Polytechnic and has always felt drawn to the creative arts that have handmade traditions.
Jill was first introduced to harakeke (Phorium tenax, flax) and the traditional taonga (treasure) of raranga (weaving) under the tutelage of Aroha Mitchell and Karmen Thompson at the Wairiki Polytechnic in Rotorua, New Zealand.
The focus of Jill’s weaving is Kete Whakairo, using predominantly traditional designs and techniques with contemporary influences. Jill chooses to work with unusually fine gauge harakeke as she feels this brings another dimension to these exquisite patterns that have been passed down through generations. Jill loves the entire process, from the harvesting of the flax thru to the final creation of the intricate patterns in her kete.
Jill feels inspired by and indebted to the tohunga mahi (expert weavers) who have shared their knowledge; and to the many others who have shared their passion, expertise and so much more with her. Her desire is to honour this generosity by continually striving to develop her weaving so that the past is woven into the present, in a continual expression of a traditional, yet evolving art form.