In blackest night
grows the seed of Life
Blue frost in our pleading veins
we sink deep…
Beneath snows, and wish for light to come again;
but needful is this rest, this still;
like death to life is needful
the black earth womb to the seed of light.
Reality, sometimes grim
Is soul medicine in bitter pill
And needful still.
For the growth of the seed so strong in life
From blackest despairing night.
Miscanthus grass fronds with small cross sections of cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) stem, bound with multi coloured wool 🙂
Stuck for nature-based things to do in miserable grey January? Get out on a dry day with some secateurs and a bag and harvest some dried stems, fallen bark, seedheads…then back at base have a play glueing them to a piece of hardboard or canvas to create textural worlds of winter sensuality….try contrasting opposites such as hard bark or stems with soft feathery seedheads…
Here I used strong pliers to clip off the pine scales as near the base as possible, and shake out the seeds which can be eaten! or used as another part of the collage, with their beautiful pearlescent wings. I started using evil smelling chemical glue, then felt bad about the environment so switched to PVA which works just as well! this is just hardboard from a DIY store which I prepared with acrylic paint.
Try cutting stems to produce delicate, structural cross sections such as this Reedmace stem, with its natural foam for buoyancy, or stem pieces built up into a honeycomb of different lengths and textures. I haven’t finished a lot of these so will put more pics up when they are done!
Last but not least, weave in some basketry techniques to create some geometrical effects. The world is your oyster! I’m going to try using dried bracket fungus next. And yes, do make sure everything is bone dry before using or you may get a moving, evolving picture of mycology and mildew…which is fascinating but messy and smelly.
i used miscanthus heads in this for the fluff!
A finished (nearly!) pine needle basket made using short (4-5in) pine needles from several different species of trees..fiddly but fun, and very satisfying, and all you have had to pay for is a washer and some string! I have dyed some of the needles with turmeric (the yellow ones) and used reddish needles and ivory cream needles to produce bands of colour.
Stay tuned for my Pine Needle Basketry workshop coming soon in Milton Keynes! I will also be selling Pine Needle Basketry kits on my etsy.com page (‘Hedgewitch Adventures’ on Etsy).