Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spring beach time

Sat. afternoon, I arrived in Cannon Beach, Or. to teach a workshop at the Tolovana Arts Colony. We were so fortunate to have a lovely, sunny day in late April.  There were 8 participants, who were given the choice of making a basket with reed and natural materials or a birdhouse.  Here are some of the results.  All very different, yet the same materials were available to all. 
I didn't get photos of everyone's work, sorry!

When I left Cannon Beach on Sun., I headed north to Seaview, Wa. for an artist in residence visit.  It was 81 degrees!  What a treat!  I arrived at the Sou'Wester Lodge after lunch. It's been here since 1892.
I was issued the key for my home for the next 5 nights.
This great old cabin from the 50's had everything I needed.  
So what do you do with 5 days of freedom?  You walk on the beach, and weave!
My first project has been on the back burner for years.  The face is clay, made by Dana Swisher of Eugene.  You may recognize the style from some of my woven figures.  The whole thing is about 8" across, so it's not one of those little beads.  I used western red cedar strips for the warp.  The weaving is hemp thread, wisteria fiber, cedar bark strips, and ni'au blanc leaves.

I made a woven circle out of vine rattan, willow bark, and dracena leaves, with the thought of leaving it at the lodge.  However, it didn't live up to my expectations, so I brought it home.  Here it is in the Golden Deer exhibit room (my front door entryway), along with my pine needle bag.
And outside the door, you'll find a random weave leaf that I made.  It's made of dyed bamboo strips that I bought from Jiro Y.

On Thurs. I was starting to panic a little, because I didn't know what I was going to make for the lodge.  I had willow and cedar bark, and bits and pieces of other weaving materials.  So I decided perhaps I would weave a willow bark basket after my walk on the beach.

Well that basket never happened because I made a marvelous beach find.  I walked on the path near Long Beach, and when I got out onto the beach, I found several large slabs of bark.  I believe it was maple.  I pulled the frayed edges, and was able to retrieve quite a bit of  bark strips.  The rest I can make into cordage.  So I ended up making a wall hanging.  I didn't size the maple strips; I just used them in their original forms.

close up of kelp beads

 I had a day to work on paper.  Earlier in the month, I had prepared a small paper mache dish. 

I prepared the rest of the paper for spinning.

I was able to sew the warp threads (hemp) onto the bowl, and started twining the upper portion, which I will show you when I'm done, probably next week.

 I had 8 students for my workshop on Sat.  The pavilion was set up quite nicely for us.  Heat lamps, which we needed since it was rainy and a little cold, tea and coffee, citronella candles for the mosquitoes.  I was worried that it might be too cold for weaving, but the temperature was just fine.

The participants wove some fantastic baskets, made of paper cord and waxed linen, in buttonhole stitch.  I was very proud of them.
I made all of the center circles except for the upper right one. They are bisque fired clay. I like to use rocks with holes, but I just couldn't find the right ones for this workshop.

 We also spent about an hour adding some Japanese basketry knots to rocks, which is quite popular here in the Northwest.

Did you know that I wrote a little booklet on how to do these embellishments on baskets? (If you'd like to order one, please contact me at d2crispin@aol.com for more details.  Otherwise, if you "leave a comment" on the page, I never get to see your email address, and cannot reply to you.


  1. Hi, I live in UK. Can I get copy of booklet? PDF?? Thanks!

    1. hi- Please send me your email, so I can reply privately.

  2. Hi,
    I would like to purchase the booklet.

    1. Hi Barbara, Please send me your email. It will come to me as a private message.

  3. I love these rocks!! Can you give me info on your book, please? Gardnlinda@sbcglobal.net THANKS!!!

  4. I just love these. Can I get a copy of your book?

    1. hi Fran, Send me your email; there is a contact form on the right side of the home page.