Monday, July 29, 2013

The pines and the firs

Terry Grant, here. One of my favorite images from trips into the forest are pine and fir cones. I have been fascinated with them since I was a child and usually have a bowl full of them sitting around somewhere in the house.  Did you know that they demonstrate the principle of the golden mean and Fibonacci spirals? Those petal-like things don't just grow willy nilly—they spiral around the core of the cone.

They have inspired me to make art over the years. I love to draw pine cones. At first they seem quite daunting, but when you stop to look carefully you can see the pattern that makes drawing them easier than you would think.

Many years ago I carved a linoleum block and made pine cone printed Christmas cards.

Using my block design, I made a silkscreen and printed a gagillion napkins with pine cones. I sent sets of them as Christmas gifts. I am still using the ones I made for myself.

I have made several small quilted pieces with a fir cone motif. Here is one that was a going away gift for a friend. I hope it reminds her of Oregon and her Oregon friends.

My quilt for the Oregon SAQA show several years ago was a large Douglas Fir cone quilt. The Douglas Fir is Oregon's state tree.

Happily, this quilt is now a part of the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection. Del Thomas, the collector is a native Oregonian, transplanted to California!

I live in the woods these days, and our property is littered with cones of all sizes and shapes. I still find myself stopping to pick one up to carry to the studio, when I see one that looks "perfect'! They sit on the windowsill and make me smile.


  1. Terry, you are a woman after my own heart. I, too have pine cone scattered everywhere around my house (the family look at me skeptically but indulge me). But I have only drawn them once ... you have inspired me to do more ... especially now, with added info from you.
    Beautiful work and your quilt is stunning !

  2. pinecones are on of my favorite subjects too. These are all just lovely. and special thanks for showing the napkins and the reminder, they don't have to be hemmed! I love that concept and now I know hand printed napkins are on my project list!

  3. The pinecones are great! Such a simply item, yet so eye-catching.