Nadine Spier

Fiber Artist

​​​​In This Issue
Things To Do

The artist knows that even though he has created something beautiful, it can be destroyed.  His real and innermost satisfaction is not in the object, but in the subject; that thing within him which penetrates the mystic splendor of beauty itself.  Ernest Holmes   

 Dear Readers,

I would like to show you a remarkable piece done by basketweaver extraordinaire Peggy Weidemann . In my opinion she is the most imaginative and innovative basketweaver working today. I'm sure you'll agree with me that her work definitely pushes the boundaries of basketry!

​Her work can be seen at the Cannon Art Gallery at 1775 Dove Lane, Carlsbad, Califonia, through January 31, 2016.

My readers have often been a valuable source of information, so I am putting this mystery out to my readers. Can any of you identify the wood in the center of this basket? I found several slices of these uniquely patterned wood pieces in a dusty bin in a now-closed store. The owner said a man had come in selling them and she didn't think to ask the species of tree or plant. If the mystery gets solved I will let my readers know since this wood certainly makes an attractive center.

To complement the dramatic striations of the wood, I decided to mix my plant materials to have a blend of colors. Each time I reached for a new fiber to feed the coil, I would randomly draw from one of 4 fibers (pictured from top to bottom) - dyed pine needles, sweetgrass, glycerined pine needles and natural pine needles. 

There's a product I recently learned about - Paverpol Art Fiber Hardener and sculpting medium. There are lots of projects this product would have an application for such as 3-dimensional mixed media or gourds decorated with textiles or plant fibers.   It is an environmentally-friendly hardener from Holland. One of its uses is to dip fabrics into it, then drape or wrap the material around a wire figure or other armature and leave it to dry. Sounds perfect for plant materials! After it has hardened, you have created a decoration or sculpture which can be used indoors or outdoors.  It adheres to almost all materials except plastic and does NOT deteriorate polystyrene foam. Combine with fabric, paper, silk, metal, baked polymer clay, chamois leather, self-hardening clay, polystyrene foam, dried flowers, paper mache, wood, plaster, metal, glass, pottery, canvas and more! Finished projects become hardened without any additions, but like any other outdoor objects, will benefit from a coat of outdoor varnish. Its non-toxic, can be washed off hands with warm water and is the first product of its type to have earned the AP seal, making it suitable for artists of all ages.

Readers might enjoy this 10-minute video called "A Gourd's Life," told from a gourd's perspective! It's humorous and has some very interesting photos of gourds throughout history, including Africans using them as flotation devices!
My class schedule for the first few months of 2016 is listed at the bottom of this newsletter.

It is with great sadness I announce the passing of Ellen Sullivan on November 6. She passed after a brief battle with cancer, surrounded by her loving husband and family. Many of my readers met her at The Lavender Fields while taking my lavender crafting classes. Ellen and her husband, Paul Bernhardy, created this beautiful oasis in the rolling hills of Valley Center. They would give my students personal behind-the-scenes tour of this lovely farm and the Navajo sheep that supplied the fleece for her stunning weavings. Ellen was an exceptional woman - creativity seemed to flow from her effortlessly, new ideas were always percolating. She was a special friend and her gracious and loving spirit will be greatly missed. My words feel woefully inadequate in describing this very special woman.

February 2-14, 2016
Wuertz Gourd Farm's 13th Annual Running of the Gourds Festival

Classes, vendors, artists, mini-gourdster races (that sounds fun!) and lots of other activities - See the website for full information
Casa Grande, Arizona

Through Janary 16, 2016

Art of Fiber Celebrating 50 Years
The Dairy Art Center for the Arts

Through March 6, 2016
Creative Crossroads: The Art of Tapestry
Denver Art Museum


Through March 6, 2016
Extreme Fibers: Textile Icons and the New Edge

136 artworks by 79 artists from around the world. The Curator's goal was to combine traditionally-based artworks with art that relies on new media and methods that incorporate skills and technology from other genres such as printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, digital, etc, to demonstrate how the field of fiber art has expanded. Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City


Two Exhibits Through February 6, 2016

Ambiguity & Enigma: Recent Quilts by Michael James
Getting to Know You
International Quilt Study Center & Museum, Lincoln
February 12 - July 3, 2016

FOCUS: Fiber 2016

Presented by Textile Art Alliance and Kent State University Museum, juried by Sane Sauer. The exhibit will be held in the Stager and Blum Galleries


Through November 1, 2018

Native American Voices: The People Here and Now
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Through January 14, 2016

A Dyeing Art: Contemporary Textiles and Fiber Arts
Spartanburg Art Museum at Chapman Cultural Center
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In this introductory class students will start a pine needle basket around a polished stone cabochon. The swirling stitch is taught with a unique method that lines up stitches on both sides of the basket, making the vessel attractive on the inside as well as the outside. Students also learn how to shape their basket and how to taper down and finish the final coil. The coiling method can later be used to weave other plant materials including sweetgrass, palm inflorescence and leaves from a wide variety of common plants. Repeat students are invited to attend to learn more advanced techniques as time permits.

San Diego Community College

1-Day Workshops February 20 and April 9

9:30 am - 3:30 pm

The home workshops are kept small to provide a generous amount of individual instruction tailored to each student's skill level and interest such as: Learning how to coil a basket, or for more experienced students, shaping of vessels, novel starts such as walnut slices or other objects with holes, beaded centers, fancy stitches (wheat stitch, diamond stitch, fern stitch, inserting beads between coils using the mariposa stitch) handles, teneriffe, lidded vessels, sculptural techniques, and much more!

Both beginning and experienced basket weavers are welcome. Show 'n Share is a fun part of the workshop, so please bring any baskets you've made to share with the group.

Since enrollment is kept small, early registration is recommended. Email Nadine to verify there's an opening, then send a check with a note specifying which class date you want to attend. Students are welcome to bring their own materials (pine needles must be washed and dried) or a started basket; supplies are always available for purchase in class.

Classes at Nadine's home

Encinitas, CA

To enroll (760) 944-9369


January 23

February 6

March 5

April 16

May 14


10 am - 4 pm $50.00

Basket Kits (optional) $37.00