currently in creation | stories from dilana workshop

IMG_7386 2.jpg

Flax D13 | Avis Higgs

Avis Higgs is perhaps the only New Zealand textile designer of the 1940s, who has a large body of work extant. There are nearly eighty surviving designs all completed circa 1949.

The portfolio drawings are the largest collection and most concentrated insight into the way a New Zealand designer thought and worked in this period.

Avis’ designs can be divided into four broad themes: floral, matine, social and those drawn from the indigenous cultures of the pacific, whether Aboriginal, Maori or Polynesian.

“Flax D13” is form flora design that makes use of New Zealand native plants. Avis was aware that not every woman wanted to be a walking advertisement for antipodean nationalism, expressed in floral prints.The currency of these designs such as flax lay in their style of representation rather than their botanical status.

Avis was awarded the governor-general art award in 2006 as part of the festival exhibition of the New Zealand academy of fine arts.

This design “ Flax D13 “is one of 6 of Avis' designs produced into rugs by dilana Rugs.

currently in creation | stories from dilana workshop

dilana workshop June 2018

dilana workshop June 2018

study for floor 1600 x 5000 | martin poppelwell


Words by martin poppelwell


"the drawing for this rug was developed from 3 dimensional tiles made from earthenware, white slip and then drawn upon with black stain and chrome oxide. i have discovered that this process introduces a tactile and organic element to what is essentially a raised, textured and flat object.

thus the edges are almost straight, there are splotches of green indicating areas to draw around and the red areas are where the slip missed the clay. the off white is the colour of the finished piece

by working like this i can kind of leave the outcome to chance and therefore the ‘enlargement’ is a by product of making and drawing. 

the ‘disfunctional’ open grid built to behave like both a plan and an elevation, and could be an ongoing pile / stack of nameless things that we are surrounded by.

it is also a way of me thinking about passing the time,…but not too rapidly.





 The dilana brand story starts in 1980 when an artisan rug-making workshop in New Zealand was founded by Hugh Bannerman. Early on the brand philosophy & direction was set: We will facilitate an ongoing study of textile imagery for the floor, its aesthetic function within a given environment and the artistic properties of the textile within its own parameters. The medium is the hand-tufted woolen carpet.” –Hugh Bannerman 1986

This same ideal underpins dilana’s design ethic today. The workshop has been the catalyst for fine artists, designers and architects to collaborate in the design and production of textile floor coverings. This collective has now accumulated over 30 years of specialised knowledge and experience extending from handmade into unique design of manufactured carpet covering vast floors of airports, hotels, public and commercial buildings.