Weaving from the Wild with Melinda West

Learn the basics of “weaving from the wild” as Melinda West guides you through several small plant fiber projects designed to engage learners of all ages with plants in Pacific Northwest landscapes. The Salish Peoples have always known how to use NW plants in fiber 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 generation to generation informing ethics and practices for the uses of plants. The Pacific Northwest landscape is highly valued and intentionally cultivated and preserved by the Salish Peoples as a place from which everything needed for a rich material and cultural is available.

Melinda will pass on some of the important lessons she has learned about gathering and processing techniques, and will provide you with cedar, cattail, iris, Northwest estuary sweet grass, and many other Northwest materials to create with. 

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 & 2 types of borders

This fun, exploratory experience comes with all materials, a gourmet lunch made by the extraordinary IslandWood chefs, and a new appreciation for the many materials gifts available from our treasured Pacific Northwest landscapes.

Jen and Ellen working with their projects

• Beginners welcome!

• This workshop is for adults, or youth over 12 years of age who are mature and self-directed.  Space is limited.  Thank you! 

• Experienced weavers can find challenge too since all the projects are adaptable to added layers of complexity, with pleasing results.

Artist 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.  For more information about Melinda please visit www.melindawest.com