Members Present

California Fibers has quarterly meetings, where we do all the normal business stuff that any group does, but we also have a program each time. This meeting, we had five members present about their work, some focusing on how they got where they are today, and others on specific pieces that they are currently working on.

Two of the members who presented at the July meeting were Peggy Wiedemann and Gail Fraser. You’ve seen Peggy’s progress in creating a chair from a some structural materials and pine needles in the last two posts, but she brought the finished project to the meeting, as well as a bird created with pine needles and some upcycled, traded fibers from our April meeting.

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Peggy (on the left) talked about how she got started in coiling pine needles, as opposed to other art forms. She finds the coiling meditative. She didn’t start working in baskets until after the age of 50, although she owned many of them. Working on these projects is a way to experiment with structure. The chair has part of a real chair underneath, and then sculpture wire for other parts. The bird below also has some wire for structure and stability.

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Wiedemann often starts a piece with no clear idea of how it will turn out. She also often has ideas about where to go next while she’s solving problems in the piece she is currently working on. She is starting another chair, but this one will be a wall piece, based on some of the ideas she had while working on this chair.

Gail Fraser has been experimenting with succulent leaves from her garden. She waits for the leaves to dry and then treats them with a variety of materials to get them flat and more flexible, so she can work with them. The leaves on her current projects have come from these two plants…

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After processing them, she then stitches them into panels. You can see the dried and treated leaf below with some of the stitched panels in the background.

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Fraser hasn’t decided what she will do with the panels next…

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We’re looking forward to seeing what comes from these…

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Fascinating projects. Stay tuned as we check in with the other three members who presented at our July meeting. And if you’re interested in becoming a member of California Fibers, contact us for more information about how to jury in. We have upcoming shows throughout Southern California and perhaps further out, plus more member presentations in upcoming meetings.

Works in Progress

California Fibers may not have any shows this summer, but we’re all busy on new projects.

Peggy Wiedemann is working on her second chair, trying to work out problems she had with her first one. She is adding a form to give her coiling strength to hold its shape.


Polly Jacobs Giacchina is currently working with random weave technique. She got out her torch for patinas on copper with rivets.


Kathy Nida has started a new desert quilt, chosen from five designs she put on her Patreon, a community that helps support her art. She’s started picking fabrics…with the help of Kitten.

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Stay tuned for more in-progress views from our members.