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Creative Process - Transforming Wheat into Art
Wheat Fields in Montana
It all started here! In the golden wheat fields of northcentral Montana. Leather gloves & a sharp pair of shears were never far away as I hand gathered ripened grain, excited to explore its possibilities!
Weaving Stalks of Wheat
After each stalk is cleaned (this involves removing the lower jointed stalks & leaf sheath) Stalks are soaked in water rendering it pliable to weave (or plait) an endless variety of intricate designs.
Circle of Wheat
This is an example of laying out prepared damp stalks to attach to a large ring. Sure could use an extra hand or two at this point:)
The planning stage is crucial to a successful design. I find being able to try out a variety of creative ideas helps me decide how I want to finish an art piece.
Wheat Sculpture Design
Learning as much as you can about your intended subject matter is such an important part of the design process, Here is an example of the artist's finished wheat marquetry parts for a Model "D" John Deere Tractor replica.
Handmade Jewelry Elements
So many exciting possibilities for jewelry design are waiting to be discovered with these handmade braids.
Dyed Wheat Stalks
The wheat stalk is a natural fiber that can be dyed to an array of stunning colors. This is an example of a plain weave, to be implemented in jewelry design.
Soaked wheat stalks are split open and pressed with an iron, these shiny golden ribbons can then be applied (using glue and a burnishing technique) to the artists chosen design. An example is the smooth tractor parts on this page with a natural golden sheen.
Examples of finished art work from the process photos above
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