What is it?
It is Pacific Madrona bark. My first chance to work with it was this summer after we had to cut down a beautiful old, but injured tree, that happened to be precariously leaning over our old house. The only other sculptural basketry in Madrona I'd ever seen before was made by Canadian artist Joan Carrigan, who is my total inspiration here. She mentioned that she was inspired by Dorothy Gill Barns, another, whose work I've always found intriguing and imaginative.
This picture above is taken in a Madrona Forest. I would never want to cut a Madrona down unless it was absolutely necessary. There is something almost "human" about these trees. They lean into the prevailing winds and seem to dance as they grow. They reach from one direction, then to another, as if they were spinning or twirling in delight. The bark is soft like skin on some parts of the tree, some is pealy, and some bark is hard and scaly. And this is all on one tree! If you've never had the chance to see the setting sun linger on the limey-green fleshy bark of a Madrona tree, with the crimson curls of bark back-lit....well, I hope someday you will...it could be considered one of the natural wonders of the world.
Madrona Bark with Stone
Iris Woven With Cedar Bark
How many more natural wonders are out there each day for us...when we take the time to look?
Art makes us look.