Design Process

Jayne Colburn - I gently transform renewable natural fibers into vessels of distinction. 

I explore the nations landscapes gathering inspiration from the Earth’s subtle colors, textures and patterns. On these treks, I also gather gems, seeds, roots and fibers such as pine needles, sea grasses, driftwood, and wool to give color and texture to each piece. To carry on a family basket making traditions and maintain high standards of quality, I personally perform all of the creative aspects involved in my work. 

My studio employs part time assistants, to help with the many tasks that are outside of the creative process.   I harvest my gourd bases from American farms, and allow their individual personalities and shapes to guide me in the artistic process. The gourds are dried, scrubbed and lightly sanded to reveal their natural beauty. To maintain the integrity of the vessel, I follow the natural curves and markings to determine the cut. The gourds are then cut, scraped out and hole punched by hand to minimize breakage. After determining the porosity of each gourd by testing colors on cut lids, I sort the vessels by shape in preparation for adding pigment. 

Nature based oils and pigments (my own recipes) are applied in transparent layers to accentuate natural markings and give depth of color. I strive to keep colors muted and Earthy, to celebrate nature’s fascinating ability to tastefully blend shades. I then apply the ancient, painstaking art form of coiled basketry, starting at the cut rim and weaving my way upward. 

I create traditional basket shapes and designs to honor my grandmothers, who for generations coiled fibers into basketry, balanced with contemporary designs to satisfy my new age spirit. Upon completing the coiling process, I embellish and adorn the vessels with “jewelry” of wire, linen fibers, gems, seeds and glass beads to catch the sun’s light and the appreciative eye. 

Out of respect for nature, no chemical sealant is used, each vessel is left with a natural finish. Much like my children, my pine needle baskets and Gourdsket® Vessels (part gourd– part basket) and have individual personalities, and are named accordingly. My goals are to keep the ancient art form of coiling alive, to inspire the creative process in others, and to allow people to experience firsthand the toil of ancient artisans and their creation of wares from raw materials and imagination. 


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