Friday, May 28, 2010

Exchange Received: Karyl Jo Hartsog to Lynn Hoyt

Well, this latest basket i happened to witness it's unveiling...but i will let Lynn Hoyt tell it...she received the basket from Karyl Jo (KJ) Hartsog...

the work that went into this piece is amazing! The piece
is beautiful and interesting at every angle, including the interior and bottom. I love it!

KJ used little coiled starts throughout the basket to enable theshaping- 19 in all! The pine needles are naturally light brown with very dark caps in areas around the buttons, adding lots of texture and contrast. There is KJ's trademark of contrasting crescent moon pine needles woven into the bottom interior. The shape is amazing, undulating here and jutting out there -- KJ said in her note it reminded her of a shoe. Pamela kept saying "she has really pushed the envelope!" To me it's a coiled sculpture that should be exhibited in a show. Lucky me!!
This will certainly be a treasured showpiece in my collection! Thank you, thank you, KJ!

Yes, another lovely lovely exchange basket...I have to tell you, i knew what this basket was going to look like because i had received the photos in advance, and i STILL was a little blown away...what a piece!



A Special Exhibition from the Permanent Collection of the National Basketry Organization and Selected Basket Makers from North Carolina

June 5 – July 23, 2010

John C. Campbell Folk School
Dining Hall, Brasstown NC

8:15 AM – 7:00 PM

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 5th from 2PM – 5PM

Free and open to the Public

For more information call: 828-837-1280

This project received support from the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.”

Also Sponsored by The National Basketry Organization

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Exchange Basket Receive: Ruth Anne Danger to Sue Cowell

This lovely basket was sent to Sue Cowell from Ruth Anne Danger

Sue says:
I guess I'm the first to get my exchange basket, and boy, has the bar been set high. My basket was made by Ruth Anne Danger. It's an earthy delight of pine needles, sweet grass, beads, and a ceramic start made by our fearless leader, Pamela. The coils are natural light green and dyed soft brown, with intermittent large, dull orange, beads, coiled around a start that says "The Pine Needle Group". While the upper part of the basket is free-form coiling, it is still incredibly solid, even without any help from sprays or wax. The basket is sewn with dark brown sinew, which empathsizes Ruth Anne's beautiful stitching. Thank you so much, Ruth Anne.

Lovely basket, Ruth Anne! So glad you are happy, Sue! What a great way to kick off our exchange!


Exchange Basket Received: Earl Eyre to Nancy DeVries

Another exchange basket received! This is actually the second basket received, but we are experiencing a few difficulties, so you will get to see this one first! From Earl Eyre to Nancy DeVries...

Nancy writes:

My basket is wonderful.

Yes, it is asymetrical, but it is so much more than that. It has a wonderful flow to it and it is made from several different materials gathered by our very own Traveling Man, Earl Eyes.

The base is a sea shell cut with a scroll saw and made out of myrtlewood. Earl's home state of Oregon is one of the few places where this grows. There are two additional scroll cut shells in the body of the basket which is coiled from sweetgrass (bought from a vendor in Charleston, SC) and pine needles (gathered in GA.)

It is a beautiful basket and I am so very happy with it. Thank you, Earl.

VMRC Seventh Annual Juried Art Exhibition

What: 7th Annual Juried Art Exhibition
Where: park Gables Gallery,
1491 Virginia Avenue
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
Contact: 540-564-3400

Dates: May 28 - June 30, 2010
Times: 10 am - 7 pm weekdays, 1-4 pm Saturday and Sunday
Awards Reception: Sunday, June 6, 2-4 pm

I am honored to once again participate in this great show. My piece is called "Nama Krigare Offer," one of my Nama series. The Nama is a linguistic term, which stands for the essence of a word. "Krigare Offer" means "Warrior's Sacrifice" in Norwegian. I would love to visit the exhibition this year, and though i know i will not be at the artist's reception, i do home to be able to see the exhibition sometime during it's run.

Monday, May 24, 2010

“3 Take On Texture:” Artwork by Yuko Takushige Jordan, Teri Odell and Lynda Smith Touart

Basketmaker Teri Odell
is featured in an exhibition
at the
University of South Alabama Library.

Exhibit Title: “3 Take On Texture:” Artwork by Yuko Takushige Jordan, Teri Odell and Lynda Smith Touart

: Through June 30
Where: 3rd floor gallery of the University of South Alabama Library on the USA campus in west Mobile
Admission: Free and open to the public during library hours.
Note: Ceramics, baskets, trays, bowls and gourds illustrating the art of pine-needle coiling; and ink, acrylic or colored pencil on paper.
Read more about it in the Mobil Press-Register

SNEAK PEEK of this exhibition here in the official Pine Needle Group Blog!

Thanks to Teri for sharing these images of some baskets in the exhibition!

The first photo is of "Blue Bayou," (at top) and Teri made the ceramic center as well as coiled the piece. She says, "With that one I experimented with changing direction as I was stitching. I thought the result was pretty interesting. The photo doesn't do it justice, but maybe you get the idea."

For "Chinese Bowl," (right) again, Teri made the ceramic piece on which she based the coiling. The third photo (below, left) is of "Tri Colored Tray."

Lovely pieces, thanks so much for the sneak peek, Teri! I wish i was close enough to attend!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Volunteer Opportunity for Basketmakers: Help Patrick Dougherty Weave An Installation

You may remember Patrick Dougherty wove an installation at the NC Museum of Art several years ago, here are some photos of my visit there. It was fabulous!

Here is a chance to help him weave another.

Patrick's website is

Come and be a part of Bascom history in the making! World-renowned artist Patrick Dougherty is building a monumental outdoor site-specific sculpture at The Bascom beginning June 2, and he is graciously welcoming volunteers interested in assisting him with his installation using small tree saplings.

*Work days are June 2-18 (or until installation is completed).
*There will be two shifts per day: 9-12 and 1-4. Multiple time slots are
*Volunteers will be working with the saplings, as well as assisting Patrick in the actual installation.
*All volunteers should wear heavy-duty gloves (standard garden gloves are not recommended) and wear heavy-duty shoes or boots
*The Bascom will provide bottled water for volunteers.

Volunteer time slots are limited, so sign up now to participate. But, all are welcome to visit the campus during the installation to watch the artist create
his environmental installation!

To be a Dougherty installation volunteer, email your schedule preference to Jim
Newton, exhibition coordinator, at or call 828.787.2879.

If you are near enough to participate in this, i envy you!

The Bascom :: A Center for the Visual Arts
Highlands, NC

If you help, please let us know how it was, so exciting!


Friday, May 21, 2010

DOROTHY MCGUINNESS: Baskets: More than Function

DOROTHY MCGUINNESS: Baskets: More than Function

Exhibit Opens Tomorrow!
Runs May 22 – September 12

Dorothy McGuinness lives and weaves in Everett, Washington. Her woven paper baskets have been chosen by ten different jurors over the past 11 years for inclusion in the Arts Center’s national Handcrafted exhibition. Her 2009 Handcrafted entry Launch was selected as Best in Show and is now part of the Arts Center’s permanent collection. She has exhibited nationally and in Turkey, been selected for numerous awards in juried competitions, and been included in publications such as 500 Handmade Dolls, 500 Baskets, and Teapots, Makers and Collectors among others.

at the
Rocky Mount Arts Center
Imperial Centre for Arts and Sciences

270 Gay Street
Rocky Mount, NC 27804

Community Reception
Sunday, June 6, 2010 2-4pm

Come and meet Dorothy!

Regular hours of operation:
10am-5pm Tuesday – Saturday,
1pm-5pm Sunday
Admission: Free

Thank you to Catherine Coulter, of the Rocky Mount Arts Center
Imperial Centre for Arts and Sciences who shared these sneak peek images of the show! It looks like it is full of color and very exciting! I will see you all there!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot

I am very pleased and honored to be included in the Spring 2010 issue of Handweaver's Guild of America's Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot Magazine.

My piece, "Catching the Moon, Phase 6" is shown on page 26, in the listed HGA Award Recipients for 2009.

Thanks so much to HGA for sponsoring the award, and publishing the results. Also thank you to the Chattahoochee Handweaver's Guild, whose fabulous exhibition, "Fiber Artisty: Journey of the Imagination" allowed me to exhibit and win the award. A special thank you to Lynn Lowance who made sure i received photos of my works in the show on exhibit. What a great show it was for me!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mushroom Harvest

Well, my chicken polypore mushrooms have been corralled and growing for over a week. Several people told me they thought i should harvest them, but i was resisting. I did not think the color and size was at the maximum. I had broken a few of the little protrusions off and cooked them to try mother watering for more! Finally, i gave in, and set off through the woods with a basket, a knife and a few dogs.
Kismet is keeping watch for me. I cut away the plastic shield, and find
the mushroom has grown to conform to the mold. I might have had larger mushrooms if i had not corralled them!

BUT the mushroom does not seem hurt, and i am sure the corrals kept them from being run over by 4-wheelers, etc.

My purpose in making the corrals was to keep dirt from being bounced into them by passers-by or the rain.

This was only marginally successful. I found, when i took them up, that i had left them too long. I really did not need the knife to harvest, they had already separated from the wood. I think ideally i would have wanted to cut them off. There was some white fluffy mold on the bottom, between the mushroom and the dirt. I do not think this is optimal. the mushroom is full of crevaces, and there are many little beetles, and ants living there.

I cut away the really dirt filled portions, and tried to pack my basket for the way home....

wow, more mushroom than basket! This is exciting! I should have judged that, but i really thought there would be more loss.

Do you think the dogs want some? Well, they might get a bite. Are mushrooms poisonous to dogs? I know squirrels eat those white ones in the yard, and that i cannot eat those. hmmmm.

More cleaning and trimming and getting out little insects at home. I give in and wash the whole bunch. I have been told you are not supposed to wash mushrooms until right before cooking, but there is so much here, and so many ants...

In the end, i cook a whole panfull for lunch (they really absorb alot of butter!) and they are delicious! They have a very meaty texture, and i hesitate to say it: They taste a bit like chicken!

I have at least twice this many left, and i am half afraid to put them in the fridge. I am leaving them out, in front of the air conditioner vent...what do you think?

Next time, i think i will try a barrier that does not retain the moisture, and harvest more protrusions as they grow. What an adventure!

Hey, look, my friend Nifty found one, too!

Another Exchange Update

Because i was asked, here is another exchange update:

The following people have signed up:

Lori Tourish
Pamela Zimmerman
Toni Best
Debra Steinman
Janet Bonnell
Ruth Anne Danger
Earl Eyre
Marianne Barnes
Karyl Jo Hartsog
Sue Cowell
Pamela Caskey
Leigh Adams

we have only a few more days of signups - til Mon. May 10! Get your name in, you can't receive a basket unless you coil a basket! This will really be fun!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Asymmetrical Exchange Update

Just a little update on the exchange. As of now, the following people have signed up:

Lori Tourish
Pamela Zimmerman
Toni Best
Debra Steinman
Janet Bonnell
Ruth Anne Danger
Earl Eyre
Marianne Barnes
Karyl Jo Hartsog

Already nine participants! This is going to be a fun exchange. There have been some questions about the rules.

Q1. Is it okay to use a gourd for a start?
A1. Yes. It needs to be less than 6" in diameter, and 50% of the finished basket needs to be coiling.

Q2. Does my "start" have to be asymmetrical?
A2. No. It is easier to coil an asymmetrical basket when starting with an asymmetrical start, but that's not absolutely necessary. It is always possible to start with a perfectly round start and, as Waldena said, "bend the coil in an odd direction" to make it become asymmetrical. It is easier to coil an asymmetrical basket if the start has more than one level, is dramatically twisted or crosses "planes." For instance, an irregularly shaped start that is flat will probably round out into a round basket very easily, but one with upturned edges is easier to coil up on one side and down on the other.

Here are some examples of baskets that ARE NOT very ASYMMETRICAL, although they started with an asymmetrical start

In each of these cases, the basket smoothed out to become symmetrical.

Here is an example of a basket where the maker intentionally emphasized the asymmetrical-ness. One side of this shell was already turned upwards ,and the coiler followed the curve.

Here is an example of a pottery base with a dramatically upturned edge, which is easily "followed" to make a basket asymmetrical...but the curve does not HAVE to be this dramatic, even a slight upturning can give the "cue" to do something different. Once a coil is laid that is different from the rest of the coils, it can grown into a lovely "wobbly" basket.

It was also pointed out to me that although i have asymmetrical bases and ones with upturned edges in my MakeABasket etsy shop, that they are not easy to find with a search. I appreciate the suggestion, and have tagged many of my bases with upturned edges with the tag "asymmetrical." If you are looking for a base with an upturned edge, you can search using that term and they will pop up.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask. You can either pose them to the list as a whole (some other people are bound to have the same question as you,) or you can send them to me.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Announcing the Asymmetrical Exchange

"Asymmetrical Basket Exchange"
Exchange Host: Pamela Zimmerman

Guidelines and Schedule

This is an opportunity for each of us to stretch our creativity
to design a piece of art using our skills in coiling to make a basket that is "not round." For tips on coiling an asymmetrical basket, please see Pamela's blog entries on Shaping Coiled Baskets.

  1. All members of the Pine Needle Group who have fulfilled their past commitments to our exchanges, and members who have never participated are eligible to participate.
  2. Baskets should be DRAMATICALLY asymmetrical. That is, not JUST "not quite round."
  3. Asymmetry is the absence of, or a violation of, a symmetry. Please see Wikipedia if there is a question as to what is asymmetrical. One lline of asymmetry is sufficient.
  4. All entries must be 50% coiled. Any material (Including, but not limited to pine needles) for the coiling. Other techniques are also permitted.
  5. Baskets may be started on a "start," of not larger than a 6 inches in any one direction. For ideas of what to use as a start, see Pamela's blog on this topic.
  6. You must be a member of the Pine Needle Yahoo Group in good standing to participate in this exchange.
  7. To participate, send your name, email address (please type it out, don't assume it is gotten from the email,) address, and PHONE NUMBER (mandatory) to Pamela Zimmerman, exchange Host. All entries will be acknowledged. The phone number is essential. Your phone number will not be distributed or shared, even to your exchange partner.
  8. Sign up period is from Monday, May 3, through Monday, May 10. You will the name of your partner May 10.
  9. Partner assignments will be double blind - that is, you will not know who is sending you a basket, and the person you are sending to will not necessarily be the one who is sending to you.
  10. You have from whenever you sign up, until June 14 to coil and ship your basket.
  11. Once you have completed your basket, please take several CLEAR pictures of it, and email the pictures to Pamela . If you do not have a digital camera, please have the image digitized at your local store, it does not cost much.
  12. Send the completed basket to your partner.
  13. Photos of all exchange baskets will be posted to this blog, as well as the Pine Needle Group list, along with the maker's name and who received it (and any other information about the basket they want to share.)
  14. When the exchange is over, we will vote on our favorite basket in the exchange. The favorite basket's maker will receive a prize from Pamela's shop.
  15. The Standing Rules apply.
  16. For tips on coiling an asymmetrical basket, please see Pamela's Blogpost on Shaping Coiled Baskets


    SIGN-UP: today through Monday, May 10
    COILING BEGINS: Immediately after signing up
    QUESTIONS??? - E-MAIL ME: Pamela Zimmerman

    If you are interested in coordinating a future exchange, your rules, email

    Lynn Hoyt, Exchanges Coordinator

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Anyone Up for an Exchange?

Waldena was kind enough to send me these other photos of her little brown basket, ones that show the pottery base...very cute! I love this little asymmetrical basket, and one of the things I like best is that Waldena was inspired by the Pine Needle Group (and this blog) to try something new.

Anyone else out there ready to try asymmetry?

We have not done an exchange in a long time...what about an exchange of asymmetrical baskets? Please comment if you are interested. If there is interest, i will coordinate. It will be run through this blog, and photos of all the baskets will be posted here. I will work up some rules and perhaps we will have a vote on the baskets, and the reader's choice will get a prize from my MakeABasket etsy shop.

what do you say?