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Coral Tripod

Coral Tripod

Artist: Clay Burnette

Title: Coral Tripod

Date: 2003

Medium: Pine Needle Basket with Branch Coral and Garnets

Size: 9″ x 13″ x 9″

Tradition: Aesthetic Objects

About the Artist: Clay Burnette attended USC where he received a BA in Marketing and Art Studio in 1982, and a MA in Library and Information Science in 1999. Today Burnette is a Grants Director at the SC Arts Commission and has maintained a fiber studio in Columbia since 1977. He has been included in over 130 exhibits nationally and internationally. In 1987 he received the SC Arts Commission’s Craft Fellowship. His works are included in numerous collections including White House Ornament Collection, the Columbia Museum of Art, the SC State Museum, the SC History Center, and the SC Arts Commission’s State Art Collection.

About the Artwork: In response to a question asked about this vessel, Burnette answered in an email dated November 2004, “I added coral branch and garnets to the waxed linen thread as I stitched the basket, which is on a tripod base. I am so pleased Mrs. Sanders purchased the piece for hour collection and am glad that it resides in my home state of Georgia.”

Burnette offers this information about his work: “The creation of a pine needle basket is a painstakingly slow process. I gather each longleaf pine needle directly from the tree, dry it, dye it, paint it, and then soak it in water before beginning the coiling process. Using an oversized sewing needle, I stitch my coils together with a variety of materials such as waxed linen, copper wire, brass wire, or telephone wire. Oftentimes, recycled antique glass seed beads and gemstone beads are threaded onto the coiling material as I stitch. When a basket is completed, it is heat-treated with a mixture of beeswax and paraffin and signed with my initials ‘CB’.”

”As I work on a basket, I am filled with a calming inner peace that I seem to only experience during this focused creative time period. And yet, at the same time I also feel an urgency to complete the object at hand so that I can begin the process all over again. Ideas are endless … time is precious.”

Last updated: 2/12/2020