Artist Co-op in Salmon, Idaho

Wilma Daniels

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Wilma Daniels is a pine needle artist and she describes in her own words how she got started.

“It all started when we purchased a piece of ground down river, sight unseen, up Spring Creek, Idaho. That winter we took our kids on snow machines up to the site to see what we had purchased.”

“And then in the spring the work began. Clearing a spot for our little cabin. It was with the help of our family and friends that a cute little cabin was built”.

“As the years would pass, seedling trees would appear in the driveway. We would move them to the edge of our property. They grew quickly and also dropped many pine needles and cones. In the spring my husband would rake and pile them to be disposed of.”

“Out of boredom I grabbed a few needles to see what I could do with them. All they would do is break. I finally tried soaking them in hot water and “WOW” it helped so I could hold them without breaking. Then came the thread. I found that sewing thread didn’t work. Someone said to try sinew. I thought I could find something that would work better so I kept trying different threads and came up with a strong one I could work with.”

“From then on I would spend hours trying to master a way to keep them together. One day it just happened to work. I have never stopped. I’ve seen things made with walnuts incorporated and others with special stitches, I wanted my own creation. I can use several shades of needles, all from the trees that we grew from seedlings at Spring Creek. I have used different needles just picked up from an old downed tree.”

“I have a squirrel that loves to pile dismantled pine cones off the deck, which I make into my own little flowers to be added on my baskets.”

“It only took a few seedling trees many years ago to start something I now enjoy. I have no patterns, no lessons, just dreaming up something no one else would ever think to create.”