Peg keeps a large supply of textured yarns in baskets throughout her workshop
Born in 1917 at Selma, a property near Ashburton, Peg grew up in Christchurch with her cousin the painter and potter Margaret Anderson (Lady Frankel) at Risingholme, a grand old house that was later gifted to the city. In 1963 she moved with her late husband Len Moorhouse to Marlborough's Sunshine Bay, where she has lived ever since. Peg's professional career began in 1965 when she sought advice from renowned New Zealand weaver Ida Lough, and sold the natural yarns to leading Christchurch department store Haywrights.
"Where I live has a big influence on my work. My studio looks out over the Queen Charlotte Sound, a huge expanse of water, backed by the most wonderful line of hills, with their ever-changing faces."
View of the Marlborough Sounds from Peg's studio
Initially self-taught, Peg spent some time in the late 1960s weaving under the eagle eye of Elsie Ryan, later Patron of Marlborough Spinners & Weavers. She also studied with legendary English weaver Mary Barker, Australian weaver Rhonda O'Meara and American weaver Albertje Koopman. She was introduced to linen damask weaving at the famous Saterglantan College of Handicrafts in Sweden. In turn, while in Australia during the early 1980s, Peg started a weaving group in Eden, New South Wales.
Peg supplied original woven lengths to fashion designers in Wellington as well as exhibiting her own woven fashion designs throughout New Zealand. Accepted to exhibit at the inaugural Wearable Arts Award in 1987 spurred her on to experiment. Now in her nineties, the award winning professional fibre artist is notable for her do-it- yourself attitude.
"It's a challenge because I've done everything myself, where these days weavers have professionals designing their work"