Based out of Brooklyn, New York, Maryanne Moodie is an Australian textile artist, educator and author who has a particular talent for weaving. After studying at Melbourne University and teaching for ten years, Maryanne found her artistic calling while on maternity leave, and now runs a successful weaving business and hosts worldwide workshops too.
“I was a teacher for ten years, mostly art, when I fell pregnant. I found a loom when I was cleaning out the storeroom for the teacher replacing me on maternity leave. I thought it would keep my hands busy whilst awaiting the babe. I was instantly hooked. I taught myself to weave and after a year or so began to teach workshops to others,” says Maryanne who loves playing with colour, form and texture to create renewed interest in an ancient art.
But it was a move to New York, in 2012, that culminated in her transition to full-time weaver and the opening of the Maryanne Moodie studio. “My husband got a job with Etsy as a graphic designer. We moved for his job, but I quickly found opportunities to grow my own business and make connections in the artistic community of Brooklyn too,” says Maryanne who is currently immersed in the textile art communities in both New York and Australia and enjoys sharing her craft through workshop settings. Maryanne also wrote a weaving book in 2016 titled On the Loom: A Modern Weaver’s Guide.
And as for the current fervour for weaving, Maryanne explains that the craft goes well beyond wall hangings. “Weaving doesn’t have to be hung on a wall. You can apply it to rugs, cushions, lampshades, any fabrics really! I think everything has cycles, and maybe hangings might be having their time in the sun, but weaving will continue through other manifestations,” says Maryanne.
And for those looking to get a leg up in the creative industries, Etsy Resolution is back this year with Maryanne one of its mentors. A free three-week online boot camp mentored and led by three successful Australian makers and small business owners, the 2017 program is a fabulous free resource for aspiring creatives. And as a mentor, Maryanne will be sharing her first-hand experience in building a creative business through the famed online marketplace.
“Etsy has been great for me. It’s been super easy to list classes, tools and products. I like how visually appealing it is too,” says Maryanne who not only imparts technical knowledge but offers general mentoring too. “I wouldn’t advise selling anything for the first year. Concentrate on building your brand and community awareness of what you are about. Create a strong focus and reach out to others in your industry and make connections,” says Maryanne.
Photography: Paul Vincent & Julia Stotz