Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pine Needle Basketry is an Opportunity to Live in the Moment


Doing Pine Needle Basketry is a really great opportunity to slow down and stay in the moment with your own breath. It is a meditation in itself. When you have yourself settled down this way, you don't project your mental state into the future and instead take great care and interest in each stitch. The old saying that a stitch in time saves nine is so true.

 I started work on a Pine Needle Basket today and I think you can see from the very beginnings of this basket that there is a certain relaxed contentment in it.

This is the thing about making Pine Needle Baskets, we learn by our mistakes and what works for us and what doesn't. Being adaptable and creative can be so much more than just doing a stitch and liking how it looks. Everything about the art form from picking the needles up off the ground, washing and drying them, baking them in glycerin or dyeing them has an energy of love which we infuse with every step into the process of each basket. Art is a process and cultivating the resiliency to be in constant awe and creative adaptability goes a long way towards the overall look of any given basket. It is best to just chalk up any set backs as " experience" and move lovingly forward to the next step in the process. Next time you process some needles try something new or wait for a warmer day. Sometimes this is why baskets can take a long time, because we wait for the perfect moment to do things. This doesn't always come easy. I always want to push things through with my mojo but as I grow older I start to see a wonderful rhythm and energy to the ups and downs or trials of making a basket.

I have tasted the hidden honey of the lotus that expands on the ocean of light, and thus, I am blessed. Let this be my parting word. - Rabindranath Tagore

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mystic Journey Pine Needle Basket

"Mystic Journey Pine Needle Basket"
The Mystic Journey is the journey of the soul.
As the Poet Wordsworth once wrote:
Our birth is but a sleeping and a forgetting
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere it's setting
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,
can in a moment travel thither
The very beginnings of the Mystic Journey.
 Paua Shell cabochon glued to a piece of leather.

1st row going on second row.
I make my stitches tight and close.

Putting on the 1st row of 6 mm lapis beads

Lapis bead row almost complete

1st row of solid teal wrapping

A Row of Czech glass teal colored
 beads between rows.

Added a row of larger 10mm Lapis Beads
 and then another solid teal row is begun

Solid Teal row is completed and starting a row of cobalt
 colored czech glass beads between rows.

The cobalt beads I used were silver lined.
Here is a close up of we stringing
them in between rows.

Another close up.
You can really see the beauty of the Lapis Beads.

Teal colored glass Czech beads
used between rows.

The light looks beautiful
through the Teal Beads

This is where I am adding a row of 8mm Lapis beads
and starting to come up the sides of the basket.

The sides of the Basket are being formed
and I added another solid teal row to end the whole thing.

close up of center

The Back of the Basket.

Side View of Finished Basket
Note my bee hives in the background!

Angled View

Alternate View of Finished Basket

Finished View of "Mystic Journey"
This basket is 10"x 10" by 3" high.
It was made between Oct 15 - Nov 13, 2014
in East Gloucester, MA by Melissa Smith Abbott
Joseph Campbell once said, 

" Where we had thought to travel

outward, we shall come to the center of our 

own existence 


we thought we were alone, 

we shall be with all the world." This 


 in fact, the crux of the Mystic Journey 

we all take on this path 

                                 called life.