8jl Drum-shaped seaweed vessel, Jeannet Leendertse, coiled and stitched basket, Rockweed [ascophyllum nodosum], waxed linen, beeswax, tree resin, 17" x 9.5" x 9.5", 2022
Cahoon Museum of American Art, Cotuit, Massachusetts; San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, California; Peters Valley Gallery, Layton, New Jersey; New Bedford Art Museum, Massachusetts. Accessories featured: Textile Museum, the Netherlands; Boston Museum of Fine Arts Collection, US; Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, Massachusetts.
Having grown up on the Dutch shore, my fiber work now responds to the rugged coast of Maine, where I find sculptural form in the landscape and its creatures. As an immigrant, my Dutch culture and heritage are always with me, while I continue to make this new environment my home. Exploring the concept of belonging, I develop work that feels at home in this marine environment. Adaptation and reflection are ongoing. My fiber process brings these outer and inner worlds together.
My work grows from coastal impressions and material experimentation. It takes on a new life when moved out of the studio and placed back in its natural environment. It is this feedback that keeps me going. I feel a strong responsibility to consider my materials, and what my creative process will leave behind. I have started foraging seaweed—in particular Rockweed—to work with. I discovered the amazing benefits this natural resource provides. Seaweed not only creates a habitat for countless species, it sequesters carbon, and protects our beleaguered shoreline from erosion as our sea levels rise. Rockweed vessels show the beauty of this ancient algae, while drawing attention to its environmental value.