Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Buddha Pine Needle Purse - My first Purse attempt!

This is my first attempt at a Pine Needle Purse. I started the basket in Florida last march 2012. I used Chinese Soapstone and Tibetan Bone Findings, a Wooden Handle with Bone washers, Sandalwood and Rudraksha Beads as well as long leaf southern Pine Needles hand picked by me after a terrific windstorm on Merritt Island, Florida.

i orginally tried a smaller handle with the purse but was not able to open the bag well so I changed it out for a larger version. This picture shows the bag with the 1st version.

This is a photo of my friends Mother's Pine Needle Purse with Tennerife Lace. This is known as a Mattapoisett Purse. My purse is sort of an homage to this one. My next attempt will have tennerife in it as I have since learned how to do it.  I put this photo in to give you an idea of where my original inspiration comes from. I always loved Nantucket Purses and I even own a vintage one that was made on a Lightship in the early 1970's. This is the Pine Needle version, which may have been the absolute original style before the whalers brought back cane from Asia. Before that the native American's wove baskets from Pine Needles. It is a very old art and largely forgotten. I am sort of in love with it and it has taken me years to pull together the energy and where with all to attempt doing one of my own.

The beginnings of the Purse actually looked like this. There is a small soapstone buddha on the bottom of the basket and the row of rudraksha beads which are actually from a type of Asian Evergreen tree serve as the feet of the purse bottom.

This is a photo of when I was building up the sides of the basket.

This is a photo of when I started the purse lid. It was a challenge to try to get it to fit on the basket itself. I didn't do the best of jobs but I managed a lip on the inside, you can see it pictured here.

This is me pinning in the brown velvet lining I gave the basket purse. I managed to sew a little pocket into the side too!

 A Close up of the Tibetan Bone Om and Dorje clasp I fashioned from the pieces I bought at a Bead store. I used leather wrapped in Bee's Waxed Crawford's Irish Linen to wrap the basket, hinges, and clasps.
This is the beginning of the back of the basket and the hinges I made. This shot only shows it partially done but it is interesting to see photos of the basket while it was still in process.

I don't think this will be my last Purse attempt. I am designing a much more ambitious design with Tennerife for my next basket. I just finished a little basket with only one Tennerife motif in the center but it was a good one to start one. I will be graduating to multiple Tennerife designs on my next one.

Thanks for looking at the blog and if anyone has any insights into making Pine Needle Purses please comment as I am always looking to discuss!!

Kind Regards, Melissa