Pine needle weaving made with long leaf pine needles from South Carolina. The pine needles have been baked in glycerin to make them darker, shinier, and more pliable. The stone in the center is probably a chrysacola. The method of contruction is called coiling or weaving of the pine needles. Woven into this artwork are recycled sari silk yarn and also metal and ceramic asian-themed beads. This process takes many hours and is truly a labor of love. This weaving may be displayed on a stand or hung on a wall.
I am a gourd artist who used to be a watercolor painter. My interest in gourds began as a small child, born and raised in Nigeria. The Nigerian people use gourds for everything from storing food to spoons to holding cosmetics. When I saw a class on gourd art offered eleven years ago I decided to give it a try. The feel and smell of the burning gourd just took me “home”. I was hooked.
I purchase my gourds from Welburn Gourd Farm — uncleaned and uncut. First I soak and scrub farm dirt and the mold off of the gourds. Then I look at each gourd carefully for any flaws or cracks. Each gourd has its own personality and that often dictates what design I will burn into the gourd and whether it will stay whole or become a opened vessel. The mold that forms on the gourds makes patterns that can be used or disregarded depending on the design. Sometimes I have a very definite design in mind when I begin and sometimes I make it up as I goe along. Some gourds may take as little as two or three hours to complete. Others may take days or weeks.
I learned to use pine needles to embellish the tops of my gourd vessels. I found that I enjoyed the pine needle weaving so much that I now make pine needle baskets and pine needle artwork to be diplayed on your wall.
Gourds have taken over my life. My brushes, paints and canvas have been pushed to one side (I was a water color painter for 20 years) as I explore the wonderfully tactile, three dimensional world of gourds. My gourds are sold through the Off Track Gallery located at 937 South Coast Highway 101, Suite C-103 (behind Starbucks), downtown Encinitas, CA 92024 and in person at outdoor shows throughout Southern California (when life gets back to normal). All current gourds available for purchase may be viewed at GourdsByGrace.com. Email swanson121 [!at] cox.net for prices and more information.