January / February 2020 Newsletter
Quote for the month
Listening is the shortest distance between two people
Anon
Dear Readers,

In November I taught a 3-Day workshop at the Pacific Northwest Art School and had such a wonderful group of students. I want to share some of their work with my readers. Each of the students was at a different skill level - ranging from brand new to intermediate. As you'll see from the images, my students learned ALOT of different techniques. These are some of the techniques you could learn at my 2-day workshop at Borrego Springs, California (see below for full details).

I'm always delighted with the things I learn from my students and will share a couple of their ideas in this newsletter.
Cyndi on the far left had a good idea - if your attempt at doing a solid wrap on an extended coil for a sculptural piece is loosening up, rather than attempting to squish it backwards over and over, just cut the thread, remove the loose thread and reuse it to start wrapping again. (I suggest rewaxing it). Sometimes it just isn't worth the time to attempt to re-pack your wrapping if it has loosened up and exposes the pine needles.
Two of my students wanted to learn how to coil around antlers or branches. Below is the finished antler sculpture created by Jeanne Robertson. To the right is one created by Cyndi Head. Pretty impressive!
Lynda on the left shared an idea that allows her to basketweave despite severe arthritis in her hands. She devised a little "support guard" for her index finger using her basket supplies - waxed linen and a small piece of faux leather. It allows her to grip the sewing needle and create her beautiful work.




Many of my students wanted to learn how to do open freeform coiled starts and the wonderful wall sculpture to the left was created by Judy Parsons. Her use of color and design is extraordinary.
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A thought on creativity from the Creativity Research Journal:

There are 4 areas of focus that enhance creativity -
Capture your new ideas
Seek out challenging tasks
Broaden your knowledge
Surround yourself with interesting things and people

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Years ago there was a touching episode of Star Trek The Next Generation where Captain Picard is struck unconsc ious by an energy beam from an alien probe. While minutes pass for the rest of the crew, the probe makes Picard experience 40 years of lifetime on another planet that is threatened by a nova  of its sun. While living there he raised a family, was part of the community, and he also learned how to play the flute. The purpose of the probe was to keep alive the memory of the race of people long after the death of their civilization. When Capt. Picard awoke, the crew found a flute inside the probe which he would continue to treasure and play as a reminder of the lost civilization.

You may be wondering why I'd be talking about Star Trek, but if you continue reading the next 2 paragraphs, you'll see why.
 
When I was a little girl and Native American studies were introduced in 3 rd grade, I remember wanting to learn everything I could about the Native peoples. I wanted to learn about the tribes, cultures, weavings, and traditions. Even at a young age I was filled with sorrow at the decimation of the many tribes and their cultures and languages. When I learned how to basketweave as an adult, I was happy to learn that there were still some tribal members who carried on the traditions of weaving and basketweaving. One generation skipped could result in the complete loss of that knowledge.
 
As many of my readers know, I started to learn how to play the Native American flute last year and it has become very vital to me. I don’t know if it’s the ancestral Cherokee blood flowing through my veins that has made basketweaving and flute playing so central to my life. This past Fall we camped in the giant redwoods in northern California and every day I would go to the grove of giants and sit there in the peaceful company of these majestic trees and play my flute. This may seem silly to some people, but I truly felt that the trees were grateful for the soft melodic sound wafting through their forest. I felt honored to be able to play this wonderful instrument in their presence. I know a lot of people choose to play only improvisational music on this instrument. But it is important for me, in addition to playing improv, to learn how to play traditional Native American music. Many tribes survived the ruthless ethnic cleansing, but sadly many are gone or scattered. Some of their music was documented and preserved in the late 1800's and early 1900's. I've been collecting as much traditional sheet music as I can. I feel that it’s important to continue to play music of the Native peoples so their music can continue to be heard and felt, and not fade away with new generations. I would like to share with my readers my humble attempts at some of my favorite traditional Native songs. 



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WORKSHOPS

ONE DAY WORKSHOP

February 2, 2020
10am - 4 pm
SAN DIEGO CRAFT COLLECTIVE

Students will learn how to coil a basket using a stone as a beautiful and unique center and using the swirling basic stitch that lines up on both sides of the basket. Students provided with all materials including a mounted stone (plenty to choose from!), a large spool of Irish waxed linen thread and washed/prepared pine needles. All levels welcome. Repeat students invited to attend to learn more advanced techniques. Click here for more info or to register.


ONE DAY WORKSHOP

February 22, 2020
10am - 4 pm
FALLBROOK SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

Students will learn how to coil a basket using a stone as a beautiful and unique center and using the swirling basic stitch that lines up on both sides of the basket. Students provided with all materials including a mounted stone (plenty to choose from!), a large spool of Irish waxed linen thread and washed/prepared pine needles. All levels welcome. Repeat students invited to attend to learn more advanced techniques. Click here for more info or to register.
ONE DAY WORKSHOP

April 4, 2020
ILAN LAEL FOUNDATION
Julian, California

I’ll be returning to the Ilan Lael Foundation to teach a 1-day pine needle basketry workshop. The location is the amazing property and home of environmental artist James Hubbell in Julian outside San Diego. My students have the rare privilege of freely wandering the property and exploring the extraordinary buildings and artwork set atop a mountain that has an expansive view of peaks and valleys.

Students will learn how to coil a basket using a stone as a beautiful and unique center and using the swirling basic stitch that lines up on both sides of the basket. Students provided with all materials including a mounted stone (plenty to choose from!), a large spool of Irish waxed linen thread and washed/prepared pine needles.  Depending on time, some students may also learn how to make handles, using beads and much more. All levels welcome. Repeat students invited to attend to learn more advanced techniques.  http://ilanlaelfoundation.org/

The charming town of Julian has many inns and B & B's from which to choose if you want to make it a weekend getaway.
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TWO DAY WORKSHOP

January 25 & 26, 2020
BORREGO SPRINGS ART INSTITUTE
Borrego Springs, California


Students will learn how to coil a basket using a stone as a beautiful and unique center and using the swirling basic stitch that lines up on both sides of the basket. Students provided with all materials including a mounted stone (plenty to choose from!), a large spool of Irish waxed linen thread and washed/prepared pine needles.  Depending on time, some students may also learn how to make handles, using beads and much more. All levels welcome. Repeat students invited to attend to learn more advanced techniques. To register or for more information see  http://www.borregoartinstitute.org/Workshops or contact me personally if you have any questions info@nadinespier.com

A trip to Borrego Springs can be much more than taking a workshop! There are endless miles of trails throughout the 600,000 acre state park, the second largest state park in the U.S.! Borrego Springs is home to very rare Bighorn sheep, 130 amazing, larger-than-life metal sculptures scattered about the desert (see link for more information), take a hike in a Palm Canyon where a stream flows from melted snow from craggy mountain tops and ancient palm trees line the banks, sunrises and sunsets that defy imagination as the sun paints the desert with colors of pink, lavender, yellow, reds and more. Nothing brings out the magic of a sunrise/sunset more than the desert! There are several hotels and 2 campgrounds all within two miles of the Art Institute.
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HOME WORKSHOPS

Workshops in Nadine's home (about 25 minutes north of San Diego in Olivenhain)
$70 plus $40 materials (optional). Time 10 am - 4 pm.

2020
January 11
February 8
March 28

My home workshops are limited to 6 students, so everyone gets plenty of instruction. All skill levels welcome - beginners come to learn how to make a basket, and experienced coilers attend to take their skills into exciting new territory such as learning how to make Teneriffes, lids, footed bases, handles, beads between coils, creating patterns with sheaves, using objects with holes such as black walnut slices, how to create free-flowing sculptural pieces, and much more!! I will also teach how to coil on gourds (contact me so we can discuss before class). To inquire or register, email me at info@nadinespier.com or call (760) 533-1000

Private instruction is also available at $50/hour.
Wishing my readers a WONDERFUL 2020 filled with radiant health, joyous time with friends and family and abundance of all positive things in your life.

Happy weaving,
Nadine
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