Hannie is a native Costa Rican living in Los Angeles. She studied sculpture and explored many creative media, from ceramics to metal, wood to stone, and textiles to handmade paper. She traveled around the world observing and being influenced by different cultures and different artistic styles. On a trip to Argentina with her husband, he introduced her to his aunt Delfa Deriu, a master in fiber. After seeing Deriu’s work, Hannie was drawn to the pine needle basketry. It was the first time she had been made aware of this type of work, which is not a typical Argentinian craft. After spending an afternoon with Delfa learning how to weave, Hannie returned to Costa Rica, inspired to master and incorporate this newly acquired technique into her ceramic pieces. Hearing Hannie express the enthusiasm and passion she has for her work makes you appreciate her art in a renewed and even brighter light.
As we settled deeper into our conversation, I asked Hannie how long it takes to create one piece of work. It became clear that it’s difficult to pinpoint a standardized timeframe due to her comprehensive, detail-oriented process.
Each piece has a multi-step process. Every piece starts on the potter’s wheel, where she can easily spend all day creating various vessels, bowls, boxes, and platters. Hannie throws enough to keep a stock of different sizes and designs at hand. The pieces are then trimmed, pierced with holes for weaving, fired, and finished with paint and patinas.
Stock of vessels already fired.
Hannie sanding the fired pieces.
After the ceramic piece is done, she begins the longest part of the whole process: basket weaving with pine needles. Depending on the size of the vessel, it can take as short as an hour or up to a couple days to complete the woven portion. Hannie usually saves the basket weaving for the end of the day, when she can weave and unwind as she sits on her couch and catches up on her favorite TV shows.