Thursday, September 1, 2011

Indigenous Crafts

I created two pairs of earrings born from a walk I took in the early morning the other day. It has since cooled down but when the temperature spikes it's a good idea to move to higher altitude seeking cooler air. I also found inspiration on that walk which I thought I would share with you.
I found a large stand of Dicentra Crysantha a plant that you may be familiar with known as a bleeding heart or dutchman's breeches, only our native variety is sulfur yellow and the hearts are upside down.
Though large stands are seen in different wild places the plant is finicky as a garden specimen but I took some seeds to give it a try.

The pods are so beautiful I thought I would like to try and make my own...... I did


I love the yucca, it is not only beautiful but it was such an important plant to the native people, it has a huge variety of uses, the fibers were used for rope and twine, the points for sewing, scribing into pottery, painting and drawing. The flowers are edible and quite tasty I might add and the root is also eaten after being roasted in the ground. The green sharp spines of the plant can be cut in half and the juices used for soap and shampoo, the shiny black seeds for jewelry. I've always wanted to make something using yucca...... I did

I have taken several basket making classes which came in handy when soaking and stripping the fibers.

* basket making is extremely laborious, it takes forever to clean and turn the fibers into useful material but it's also rewarding and really fun to use dried discarded material like pine needles.

this is how it all started....
I got out early which is even earlier up high since the tall peaks keep the sun at bay longer

The highlights are so pretty on the ridges defining each mound and crevice, the scent of warm pine trees ummmmmm.

gathered to try in my garden

defunct, good junk


I'm reading Edward Abby who was a park ranger at Arches outside of Moab Utah, this is a man that knew the desert intimately and was cantankerous in all the right ways. He wrote this, "the sun broke out over the canyon rim flaring like a white scream, it's hot breath burned my neck" I know what he meant, though the weather has now cooled considerably, I try my best to avoid the sun.

Our Lords Candle is the yuccas nick name here it is lit like a torch.

The brown is beautiful glowing in that early sun......

so I brought some back for the dining table.

Happy Septembre 01 all xo Ro


  1. September 1st could not be any more beautiful! Thank You! Love those earrings...just love them! xoxo

  2. I like the way you work, lady. Your studio extends into your surroundings...just gorgeous!

    And those earrings--awesome! What a grand idea--my favorite line in today's post is " I did."

    You did indeed.

  3. Lovely hike & gathering expedition & very interesting plant info. Good break from work :) New info fuels my imagination.

    Your indigenous earrings are wonderful! I love the form & texture of the pods & long cones & the addition of yucca fiber is so cool. Do you have photos of the baskets you made? xoxoxo

  4. Thank you Mona it was indeed a very pretty morning.

    I just had to Caroline, it's hard to explain, nature is a great seductress...and so I did.

    Well that means a lot Priscilla being from someone in the know, it was fun banging and heating the metal to get it to perform. I have my baskets in boxes but I'll dig them out and show them when I get a chance. My neighbor had a big Digger Pine, and I would make baskets in the winter when it rained with the already soaked needles lying on the ground, how's that for opportunity, that way I didn't have to wait until they softened.


  5. All I can say is how much I adore these pieces.....from following the inspiration to the gorgeous ethereal quality of the copper earrings in particular, Ro!.....le sigh!.....

  6. WOW!....speechless....♥ them!

    : )

  7. Ro, these are awesome. You are full of surprises!

    I ADORE both pairs :)


    (Have a great weekend. xoxo)

  8. Thank you Kerin, I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed both journeys. xo

    Thank you Cinder, thank you so much!!!

    Muchas Gracias Lisa, a good bit of fun was had here. Have a wonderful weekend yourself.


  9. oh dear ro this may be my favorite september post ever. i'll reread it any time i need inspiration (and to lust after those earrings). i love what you bring to my life.