Weaving From The Wild with Melinda West
Learn the basics of “weaving from the wild” as Melinda West guides you through three plant fiber projects designed to enhance your relationship with plants that grow in Pacific Northwest landscapes. Salish Peoples have known how to use plant fibers in technologies such as cordage-making, mat-making, basketry, branch-work, blanket and garment weaving. These technologies are just a small part of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Bank that is passed from one generation to the next, informing ethics and practices for the care of, and uses for plants. The PNW landscape was highly valued and intentionally cultivated and preserved by the Salish Peoples as a place from which everything needed for a rich material and cultural life was available. Join Melinda as she passes on some of the important lessons she has learned over her three decades of gathering and processing cedar, cattail, iris, NW estuary sweet grass, and other NW plant materials she uses to create art and basketry with. The projects are perfect for beginners, but also for experienced weavers, since all the projects can be adapted for complexity with pleasing results. This fun, exploratory experience comes with all materials, a gourmet lunch made by the extraordinary IslandWood Chef’s, and an appreciation for the many renewable gifts of plants available just outside our doors, growing in our Pacific Northwest landscapes.
(Projects include: Cattail & Cedar Wall Pouch, Small Cedar Basket, Coiled Cordage Necklace)
(Techniques include: basic o-u weaving, mat making, twining, hoop-making, cordage-making, coiling, fold-down-twined border, fold to side in-or-out border)
Instructor Bio: Melinda West, of Indianola Washington, has been practicing the art of plant-fiber weaving since 1985. She has studied with many native and non-native weavers and artists the foremost being Suquamish Master Weaver, Ed Carriere. Her inspiration comes from nature and the First Peoples of the Pacific Northwest whose cultures embrace the rich traditions of natural fiber use; knowledge in the land; and artistic skill development in all aspects of life. Melinda enjoys sharing her love of natural history, environmental stewardship, and an appreciation of indigenous cultures through the arts, teaching at the Seattle Art Museum, Olympic College, Coupeville Art Center, North Cascades Institute, Olympic Park Institute and IslandWood. Melinda’s award-winning art is on display in public and private collections and her work has been featured in books and magazines.