I always seek, in my artwork, to capture whatever aspects of the natural world that I can. While, weaving and the fiber arts are my primary love, I have recently found a new interest: the art of coiled pine needle basketry. It combines both the natural world and my fascination with history. It's best explained as follows:
"Coiling is one technique of basketry used by Native Americans across North America. Coil baskets of different regions have various styles of construction depending upon the materials used in the coil, and the type of stitch used to fasten or interlock the coils together. All coiled containers use a flexible 'coil' which begins from the center at the bottom of a basket, or sometimes begins around a flat disk of bark or wood. The coil is spiraled outward and upward, placed on top of the coil in previous round, and fastened to former rounds by some stitching material." (Nativetech.org)
While traveling down the Intra Coastal Waterway on our boat for the last few winters, I was thrilled to finally see and handle the infamous Gullah Sweetgrass baskets in South Carolina. Once we arrived in the Florida Keys I met a very talented and generous group of "coilers"' who taught me how the technique was applied that far south. The tradition is, reportedly, that of the Seminole Indians and it is practiced quite extensively by many people in the boating community. Not only did those folks teach me to coil but they even directed me to places where I could gather my own Florida Long Leaf pine needles. Once they are dried, they are then put through softening baths and dye baths. Coiling can then begin.
After learning to coil I began to research and utilize gourds which I receive from California. They, too, require a lot of preparatory work, but once cleaned, drilled And dyed make the inspiring base to coiled creations.

      Carol Mania

​ ~Lodestar Wovens~

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 Carol began spinning and weaving in  1985 while living  in a log cabin and raising two frisky sheep. What started as a hobby grew into a small business and over the years she has been happy to expand her knowledge to many fiber arts including rug hooking, doll making, and designing and constructing finished garments. When not working with fiber, she loves to do beadwork and coiled pine needle basketry.
She lives way off the beaten path in South Kingstown, RI and though the sheep are long gone, there are acres of woods and gardens to inspire her.  
Carol is self taught and willing to take leaps while learning. Her work has been presented in numerous shows, shops and working demonstrations over the years. The Foundry Artists Association show in Pawtucket, RI is a two week long show in December entering its 37th year. Carol has been a contributing Association member, served on the board of directors, and sold her artwork there for the last 25 years