1) Hand awl for piercing holes
2) Artificial sinew
3) Long leaf pine needles with caps still attached
Single Needle Pine Needle Coiling
2. Pierce holes in rim of gourd approximately 3/8 inch from rim edge and 3/8 inch apart. (Use your “little” finger width for a guide). Wider spacing (width of index finger) is required for insertion of two needles. These instructions are for the insertion for one needle per stitch.
3. Thread artificial sinew through your needle. Artificial sinew is waxed thread that can be split into thinner strips, much like dividing embroidery thread. You may use any thickness of thread that suits your taste. Select the front of your piece, then select a starting place 1/4 a turn back to the left. Tie a starting knot by inserting the needle from the outside through a hole and pulling the thread to the inside; bring the threads up near the end of your thread and tie a knot. Position the knot on the inside of the gourd.
4. Begin coiling by holding a pine needle against the rim between two holes and stitching a stitch across the fascicle (cap) and into the next hole. This will create a diagonal stitch across the fascicle.
Moving from right to left, continue around the rim adding a pine needle each time you make a stitch. Place each needle below the previous needle with the needles angled upward slightly to create a smooth coil.
5. When you reach the beginning of the first coil, begin the second coil by placing the needle on top of and even with the first pine needle. You will insert the sewing needle into the same hole of the first stitch. Continue to stitch into the hole for three to four stitches until the coil builds enough to allow you to insert the sewing needle between the pine needles of the coil and secure it to the coil. To lock the stitch and create uniformity, insert the needle on the left side of the stitch that preceded it on the coil below.
7. When your coil reaches its starting point, you will have two rows of pine needles placed completely around the rim. Continue to stitch as previously without adding pine needles, rolling the coil toward the inside. As you continue this process, the number of needles will thin and you will continue to make stitches securing the ending coil toward the inside until you run out of needles. Tie off the thread pulling the knot to the inside and securing the end by pulling your thread to the front side of the coil, coming between pine needles. Snip off this end thread close to the coil and tuck any thread that is visible. Tuck or snip any pine needles that look untidy.
Pyroengraving Art or Woodburning an Art Design
Judy Mallow, pine needle coiling artist, at Prime Pines