6. Aug, 2020

Not All Pine needles are Created Equal

I havent finished the Cas Holmes stitching yet because i got so excited about finding a pine in Brooke Parke that I can use for my pine needle weaving. I have an old pine needle woven box that belonged to my Grandmother. It is about 150 years old and I have chosen as one of my Art and Creativity projects to learn pine needle weaving. In NZ there are lots of radiata pine forests as the trees grow quickly for use in the timber and paper pulp industries but other pines are not so common. I think the one in Brook Park is a Ponderosa (yellow) pine. I was well aware that the pine needles I was using were significantly shorter than the ones Nadine Spiers was using but I had no idea where I could get others. Whe I took Rusty for a walk we went a different way because I was considering bull rush as an alternative and there was this large pine tree with lots of needles on the ground waiting to be collected. You can see the difference in size from the above photo and the pine needle weaving grows a lot quicker with the longer needles but doesn't look any different to the earlier weaving. I did try dying some needles but the colour uptake was not significant and I like the natural tone in any case. By the time I had washed the needles and sat them in the slow cooker with oil and then dried and rolled them in paper towel to keep them straight I had done for the day. With the sorter needles I had to add to the bundle every two stitches, with these i can get quite a few stitches before I need to "feed" the bundle. I have two pieces on the go - an oval box and I free form piece. The oval box is more about getting techniques right but it is coming on nicely. I am at the stage of finding out how to add beads into the openings I have created. One thing is for sure eco art is never short of challenges