January / February 2018 Newsletter
Solitude is creativity’s best friend, and solitude is refreshment for our souls.
Naomi Judd
Dear Readers

This newsletter is going to focus on creativity, its ebbs and flow, and how to access new creative ideas. I agree with Naomi Judd’s quote above. In silence and solitude, without the chaos of external distractions, one can truly “go inside” and discover a peace where new creative thoughts can emerge and in the stillness we can receive and act upon them.

Author Eckhart Tolle suggests ways to find silence:
Do you hear that dog barking in the distance? Or that car passing by? Listen carefully. Look for the silence out of which the sounds come and into which they return. Pay more attention to the silence than to the sounds. Paying attention to outer silence creates inner silence: the mind becomes still. A portal is opening up. Even during a conversation become conscious of the gaps between words, the brief silent intervals between sentences. As you do that the dimension of stillness grows within you. You cannot pay attention to silence without simultaneously becoming still within. Silence without, stillness within.  

In September my husband and I and our dog Sasha went camping for 3 weeks. I made several attempts to listen to the silence….but I would hear the wind in the trees, the water lapping at the shore, birds calling, squirrels munching on pine cones. It’s quite an exercise of concentration and effort to find silence! I’m still working on it.  Right now I hear the refrigerator humming……..

Basketweaver Hisako Sekijima discusses the importance of isolation for the creative process. She says “I work by myself. Isolation is necessary to think in depth and concentrate to find out what I become conscious of in what moment. I don’t want to miss any subtle moment of revelation because I know this might be the time I get into a new way of looking at things.”

In an interview in American Craft Magazine artist Jennifer Ling Datchuk states “I wish I knew when I first started how to handle the feast and famine of an artistic practice. I know now not to beat myself up over dry periods where I don’t have much to work on, but to let myself enjoy these quiet times to research and allow ideas to ferment. It wasn’t until I gave myself enough time and the opportunity to fail, that I was able to create my present body of work.”
Reknown contemporary furniture maker Wendell Castle, age 80, still creates 6 days a week and lectures at R.I.T. where he has taught for 50 years. He wrote a guide to creativity and below is a partial list of his words of wisdom. They are concepts worth pondering.

To be truly creative, artists should make their work for themselves.
If you are in love with an idea, you are no judge of its beauty or value.
Never state a problem to yourself in the same terms it was brought to you.
If it’s offbeat or surprising, it’s probably useful.
If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it.
If you hit the bull’s eye every time, the target is too near.
You should never know for whom you’re designing.
If your mind is not baffled, your mind is not fully employed.
Imagination, not reason, creates what is novel.

Felting artist, Rosemarie Peloquin, made a statement about her felted work and it equally applies to basketry and any craft made from natural materials:

“The spirit in the natural fibers migrates from wood to wool to maker’s hand to viewer’s consciousness. Regardless of what fences you build or boundaries you establish, there will be movement into and out of those boundaries. Nothing exists in isolation. I’ve found it is best to be open and work with the will of the materials, sculpting intuitively to give voice to the spiritual elements. The natural fibers move and connect, transforming…. giving life to the spirits within.”
U nity author and poet James Dillet Freeman wrote, “I have been alone under the sky when suddenly I was one with all the beauty and wonder and glory of the world. The sky was not high enough, the horizons were not wide enough to hold my heart.”

Affirmation for discovering creativity found in the Daily Word, "My intention today is to recognize beauty and goodness, to be in awe of creation. Whether walking on a crowded sidewalk or strolling along a country lane, I look for signs and wonders."

I will be teaching at some new locations in 2018, including the beautiful Carlsbad Flower Fields. Click here for class and registration information.

I will also be teaching at the Fallbrook Art Center School of Art in historic downtown Fallbrook. Click here for class and registration info.

Visitors are welcome to attend my lecture for the Sacramento Weavers Guild on February 27. Guests pay a $3 fee. I will also be teaching a 2-Day workshop on February 28 & March 1 for the Sacramento Weavers. Non-members are welcome to take the workshop if there is space available. Please contact Katherine Bennett at the Guild with any questions or to check availability - settlebackez@gmail.com


I want to thank my readers for all the wonderful feedback you’ve given me on my three basketweaving instructional DVD’s. I would like to ask if you could help spread the word by mentioning your experience/opinion with your gourd or basket guilds, Facebook pages and other media and on www.amazon.com where they are sold. I would really appreciate it! A huge thank you to anyone who helps spread the word.


Please note starting January 2018 my home workshops will now cost $60. Also, my new mailing address and cell phone number can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.

Upcoming gourd festival!
Wuertz Gourd Farm's 15th Annual Running of the Gourds Festival
February 9-11, 2018
Classes, vendors, artists, mini-gourdster races (that sounds fun!) and lots of other activities – See the website for full information
Casa Grande, Arizona

Wishing my readers a prosperous and healthy, joy-filled 2018. I know there’s been a lot of major tragedies across the U.S. including wildfires that devastated my state of California. It’s been a rough year for many people (and animals). I hope that 2018 will bring a new and happy chapter for every living being.

Website   |  Artist Gallery  Workshops  |  Videos  |  Contact
Nadine Spier
Contemporary Pine Needle Basketweaver
​Basket Weaving Classes and Basket Art for Purchase
1084 N El Camino Real Box B184, Encinitas CA 92024 (760) 533-1000