Pine Needle Basketry
According to Maxine, elements
from the yard can be used to create works of art! She goes on to say that “she
is a nature lover” that was given a craft book that had a section on gathering,
coiling and weaving. After that she said she “became a basket case”.
After mastering the
basic skills of pine needle raffia basketry, Maxine started creating her own designs.
Her original designs often develop while the basket is being constructed. She
said that “once you begin to coil and weave you find it very contagious. I know
because I find myself putting my eggs in more than one basket.”
After Maxine gathers
the long leaf pine needles from her yard, they are cleaned with detergent and
bleach, and then they are dried fully and bundled. She begins with a base and
then starts to coil. To keep the needles flexible, they are dampened to prevent
breakage during the weaving process. When the baskets are complete they are
shellacked for protection. A small, 3” diameter basket containing 115 pine
needles took six hours to complete. One can only wonder about her twenty-eight
Maxine says her
“baskets are made with love” and she gives many of them away to friends so they
will enjoy them as much as she enjoys weaving them.
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