These embellished gourd baskets are like nothing you would expect.
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Peggy Wiedemann makes gourd baskets that she herself calls "weird" and "bizarre." The shapes and designs she creates are some of the most creative and unusual around. Her beginnings are the same as any gourd artist — picking the right gourd. She goes to a farm herself to pick the ones that really speak to her. She also uses other, all-natural, mostly hand-gathered materials to use as her embellishments. Some of the materials she uses most often range from pine needles and palm fibers to kiwi vines and waxed Irish linen.
She works in the "studio" she has created in her home — which spans several rooms and the yard. Her neighbors thought her strange when they first saw things hanging and drying from her front porch, but now they bring her materials they find to add to her collections. Wiedemann has realized that you don't always get what you plan for with these baskets — sometimes they do what they want regardless of her intentions — but she finds that to be the most enjoyable part: the discovery.
She treats and prepares all of her materials so they will be ready to work with. This can range from washing and drying to soaking in water for days, depending on which materials feel right for that particular piece. She then cuts into the gourd and creates the shape of the base of the basket. She weaves pine needles and uses several techniques to add them to the gourd. Stitching and weaving in their various forms is how she adds all of her materials to the basket.
Learn about an artist who turns gourds into eye-catching items for the home.