March / April 2019 Newsletter
I salute the Light within your eyes where the whole Universe dwells. For when you are at the center within you, and I am in that place within me, we shall be One.
Oglala Sioux Chief Crazy Horse
Dear Readers,

I thought the above quote was beautiful and wanted to share it even though it has nothing to do with weaving or art. Hope some of you find it touches your soul the way it does mine.

I had a delightful weekend lecturing for the Ventura County Handweavers and Spinners Guild at their monthly meeting, then teaching a beginning workshop in making pine needle baskets. I love teaching weavers. Such comradrie and playfulness, plus fiber people are also "texture and color" people and really take to basketmaking. If you belong to a guild that might be interested in learning how to basketweave, please feel free to pass along my contact information info@nadinespier.com, 760 533 1000, www.nadinespier.com.
******************************
Most artists already know an odd number of decorative elements in a work of art is more appealing than an even number. But do any of us know WHY? I just read an explanation of WHY in the book Botanical Portraits with Colored Pencils by Ann Swan. She states “odd numbers work better in composition than even numbers because the brain always tries to pair things up, and once achieved, loses interest. Keep the viewer engaged – keep to odd numbers of elements.” Well, isn’t that interesting?! 

******************************

Bodywork for Craftspeople
Years ago I purchased a video of exercises for weavers who sit for hours at a loom. It involved a lot of gentle movements such as freeform slow dancing encompassing the entire body as you stretch upward, outward, sideways, just random flowing movements to stretch and lengthen the muscles. A lot of artists find their muscles locked up in their neck/shoulders, lower back, or perhaps sore hands. I just wanted to remind my readers its important to occasionally stop what you’re working on and spend some time relaxing your tense muscles. Perhaps stand, lift your shoulders to your ears then rotate your shoulders slowly using forward then backward rotations. Reach out your arms and spread your fingers wide to stretch them. Then spend some time massaging each of your hands with the other hand. Your body will thank you.

******************************

What is Craft?
An interesting article about the meaning of “Craft” was featured in the October/November 2018 issue of American Craft Magazine. The writer says, “Let’s face it, craft is a curious word. We think we know it, but do we? Richly evocative of tradition, history and a standard of quality, the word can connote many things: Skill, art form, antidote to the machine, hobby, therapy, counterculture. In the past decade alone, with the rise of a new generation, we’ve seen the field expand to include DIY, craftivism, and maker culture. Some artists and art institutions avoid the word – that’s nothing new – but other voices and audiences have stepped up to embrace and claim it."

My favorite definition quoted from Kat Roberts is “Craft involves an awareness of a human having been responsible for an object’s creation, as if the maker’s presence never entirely leaves the object. This presence could come from an element such as visible stitching, or just in witnessing the thoughtfulness that was needed to bring the piece to life.” 

I also like what Michael Radyk says, “Craft is a voyage, a caravan, an expedition. It has the ability to transform maker and object by way of a creative continuum that transcends technology, materials and knowledge ."

******************************

Below is a list of several upcoming locations for my pine needle basketweaving workshops, starting with the multiple-day workshops, followed by my 1-day workshops. There's some extraordinary locations coming up this year for my classes and hope to see some of you there!
MULTI-DAY WORKSHOPS

TWO DAY WORKSHOP
March 23 – 24
Julian, California

I’ll be returning to the Ilan Lael Foundation to teach a 2-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. To register or for more information see http://ilanlaelfoundation.org/  

The charming town of Julian has many inns and B & B's from which to choose for accomodations.
******************************

TWO DAY WORKSHOP
April 13 & 14
Borrego Springs, California
Borrego Springs Art Institute

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.
******************************
THREE DAY WORKSHOP
November 1-3
Whidbey Island, Washington

Students will learn an amazing variety of techniques – I contact my students prior to class to inquire what they want to learn, and I tailor my instruction to each student’s interest. This workshop is perfect for both beginners and experienced coilers. Some of the techniques students can learn include how to coil a symmetrical basket around a stone, fancy stitches, how to create free-flowing sculptural pieces, how to coil around antlers or branches, how to coil on a gourd, Teneriffe, lids, footed bases, handles, beads between coils, and MUCH more!!!

The location is the Pacific Northwest School of Art in the darling town of Coupeville on Whidbey Island, a short shuttle/ferry ride from Seattle. Coupeville is a great place to spend a few days. If you can walk 1/2 mile, you can go just about anywhere in town, including walking to the art school! The local restaurants are superb and a culinary delight. https://pacificnorthwestartschool.org/product/spier-nadine-the-art-of-coiling-baskets-and-sculptural-forms-november-1st-3rd-2019/

******************************
ONE-DAY WORKSHOPS
HOME WORKSHOPS

Workshops in Nadine's home (about 25 minutes north of San Diego in Olivenhain)
$60 plus $40 materials (optional). Time 10 am - 4 pm.

April 20
May 11
June 8
July 13
August 3
October 26
November 16
December 14

My home workshops are limited to 7 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
********************************
Carlsbad, California
Choose from April 6, 27, and 28

In the 1-day introductory class students will start a pine needle basket around a polished stone cabochon. It’s an easy way to start a basket and the stone makes a stunning center. Students will learn the swirling basic stitch that lines up stitches on both sides of the basket, making the vessel attractive on both the inside as well as the outside. Students also learn how to shape their basket, how to taper down and finish the final coil. Students provided with pine needles, but your new skills can be used to coil many other common plants. Students will choose their materials from a large assortment of stones and Irish waxed linen. 

*******************************
Hoping the frigid winter temperatures relent and give Spring a chance to arrive and astound us with her glory. Wishing my readers good health, warmth, and a bountiful harvest of everything good in their lives.

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
basicImage