For THE SEA ENDURES, Fairweather exhibition and sale, Nov. 6-25, featuring fine woven craft by Martha Denham.

House on the Sand

  • This weaving is a lidded pine needle coil basket. The intricate stitching resembles the waves which constantly wash the sand. On the lid is a small mixed media (wood, fiber, shell, and  bead) sculpture.

“Traditionally houses aren’t built on the sand due to a weak foundation. However, there are times in our lives where due to hardship, we need extreme flexibility. We make plans and like sea waves washing the beach every day,  things change. We survive by having multiple plans. This speaks about  how reasoning is part of resilience. The ability to reason allows us to think of contingencies giving us flexibility  by which we survive another day.”  Martha Denham, fine craft artist

Life on the Rocks

This is a 12-inch diameter by 6-inch height lidded basket. The base is wooden painted on the inside and outside. The interior features a seastar adhered to its home, the rocks. The outside is a painting of standing on the bottom of the water looking up. Pine needle coil weaving completes the base. The hand-cast lid features a hand-painted seastar. The seastar is attached to a brass ring wrapped and suspended in a netting influenced Tenerife weaving. Pine needle coil weaving completes the lid, further adorned with the mesh and colorful wrapped coil. All the materials for the weaving were hand-dyed.

  • I am amazed by the resilience of seastars. They live in an environment of battering by waves, changes in temperature, overcrowding by other sea creatures, and constant attack by predators. They endure while they cling to their rocks. It’s a rough environment yet they thrive. That is what  resilience is about.” Martha Denham, fine craft artist.

Moonlight Sea Garden

This 7-inch tall pine needle coil vase has a glass insert for holding water for flowers. Sewn onto the woven vase are sea flowers made with Mother-of-Pearl and pearl beads. This was a very time-consuming and difficult piece to make. Two different types of needles were simultaneously required to sew the beads on. One needle was a fine needle used for pearls.  The bead was strung, then the needle changed to a large stainless-steel needle tough  enough to sew through the hard pine needle coils.” Martha

Martha H. Denham, fine craft artist:
I am a person whose spirit thrives amongst organic shapes. My sense of balance, function, and durability comes from the civil engineer that resides in my brain. Always asking “what if” I have looked for new ways to achieve to the next challenge.

The passion I found with pine needle coil basketry came from my roots growing up in pine forests and in a culture where everyone stitched. After developing expertise in pine needle basketry, my attributes demanded I evolve the traditional genre into my own expression.

You will see stitched into the weaving a designed collection of thread, beads, shells, and stones.

Recent work has become mixed media incorporating the weaving with metal, wood and hand-cast sculpted/painted medium and pine needles.

With coil construction being inherently uniform, how would I take it outside its apparent boundaries? Intertwining branches, vines, leaves, and shells marry the chaos of nature into the uniformity of the vessel’s function.

Breaking free of traditional expectations and methods allows me to enjoy the craft of stitching coils and the beauty of the stitching.

It is no longer the full expression but an integral part of a diverse expression. My art is only limited by my imagination that knows no boundaries.

Nov. 6 through 25

Fairweather House and Gallery

612 Broadway St.

The Sea Endures, an exhibition of NW artists’ new artwork depicting where the Oregon land meets the Pacific Ocean. Featuring Toni Avery, Bill Baily, Martha Denham, Karen Doyle, Colette Fallon, Linda Fenton-Mendenhall, Phil Juttelstad, JoAnn Pari-Mueller, Lee Munsell, and Ron Nicolaides.

Please read more about our gallery, our commitment to NW artists, and our products made by NW hands

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