Susy Perrine is a self-described twig artist and will be building a garden structure out of twigs during the Wiscasset Art Walk on Thursday, Sept. 30 from 5-8 p.m. She’ll be under a tent on one of the grand sidewalks in Wiscasset Village. Contributed photo

Hasenfus Gallery features exhibit of twig art by Susy Perrine

WISCASSET – Susy Perrine is a self-described twig artist and will be building a garden structure out of twigs during the Wiscasset Art Walk on Thursday, Sept. 30 from 5-8 p.m. She’ll be under a tent on one of the grand sidewalks in Wiscasset Village.  

“I’m interested in the process almost as much as in the end result,” say the Woolwich artist, about building twiggy things from the ground up. She’s inspired by the materials, especially those that are easily available, which she describes as “sometimes trash or discarded materials.” That’s when her creative thinking blooms and leads to new endeavors.

An early and challenging project was weaving with children. “Kids became the loom,” she explained, when she was asked to create a large woven piece for a community project during Watson Farm’s Sheep to Shawl Program in Jamestown, Rhode Island. She first laid out the warp of fabric strips on the ground to fill about 50 square feet of space. She then attached fabric strips to children, becoming the weft, who pulled the strips over and under the warp. In two days of weaving, Susy estimates she had about 250 children participating.

The success of her unconventional weaving with children encouraged her to experiment with more materials and methods, including bamboo, cardboard, recycled lobster trap rope, saplings, and twigs.

Her first big twig project, in 1998, was weaving a hut during a Providence (Rhode Island) Waterfront Festival, a music fest with multiple stages and craft presentations; Susy was in the folk-art section. Because the event was located on the lawn in front of the State House, she was able to push large twigs into the ground as the frame of her construction and then wove smaller twigs in and out to form the structure. She invited passersby to help and added fragrant flowers near the doorway of her hut to entice visitors to enter.

Because Suzy enjoys the challenge of using new materials in unexpected ways, she often makes a limited number of an item and then moves on to another project. So far, Susy has made lamps, scarves, twig huts, fashions out of recycled materials, garden structures, and stitched greeting cards. She’s inspired by other artists and finds that living in Maine encourages her out-of-the-box approach by providing the time, place, and materials to satisfy her ever-changing creative interests. In addition to making her own pieces, she’s drawn to teaching and sharing, which she does as artist-in-residence at regional schools, as art director at Wavus Camp in Jefferson, during summer 2021, and at collaborative project sites like the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay.

During September’s Wiscasset Art Walk, Suzy will also be exhibiting some of her small-sized maquettes and other hand-made creations in the Hasenfus Gallery, 64 Main Street. Her work is also on display at Markings Gallery in Bath.

Wiscasset Art Walk 2021 is made possible by Lead Sponsors Donna and Frank Barnako and First National Bank. Major Sponsors are Ames True Value, Big Barn Coffee, Carriage House Gardens, Cod Cove Inn, Fogg Art Restoration, Industrial ME, J. Edward Knight Insurance, Newcastle Realty, Peter H. Eaton Antiques, Red’s Eats, Rock Paper Scissors, Sarah’s Café, and Sherri Dunbar /Tim Dunham Realty. Sidewalk activities are sponsored in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information about Wiscasset Art Walk, www.wiscassetartwalk.org or email to wiscassetartwalk@verizon.net. Wiscasset Art Walk is a program of Wiscasset Creative Alliance.