Art show explores phases of the ‘moon’

Published 6:14 pm Saturday, July 7, 2012

A local artist was invited to exhibit in the Hobson Pittman Memorial Gallery this month.

The Edgecombe Cultural Arts Council invited Washington fiber artist Pamela Zimmerman to its summer invitational exhibit.

The Hobson Pittman Memorial Gallery is located in the Blount-Bridgers House in Tarboro.  The show opened Thursday and runs through Aug. 24. A reception will be held Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Zimmerman will show two pieces from her “Catching the Moon” series: “Catching the Purple Moon” and “Catching the Pale, Pale Moon.”

The series was started in 2000 and has 24 “phases,” Zimmerman said. The two phases she will display are from 2008. Zimmerman sculpted faces then coiled and wove natural fibers around them.

Zimmerman collects a lot of her materials on walks in Beaufort County.

“Catching the Purple Moon” has a polymer clay face that appears to emerge from “nature’s tapestry.” Other materials include paint, reed, dye, artificial sinew, pine needles, glass beads, wax and wire.

“Catching the Pale, Pale Moon” was made of reed, porcelain clay, artificial sinew, wire and wax.

Zimmerman said it is one of her favorite pieces.

“I just worked very hard on it,” she said.

Zimmerman said she has always been fascinated with native basketry. She taught herself to weave after being given a book on pine needle baskets. In late 1998, she began weaving baskets from nature and was hooked.

It wasn’t long before she was creating miniature baskets and later developing her own techniques incorporating horsehair, one of the most challenging coiling mediums in basketry. She often teaches the techniques at basket-weaving conventions.

“Not a lot of people work in horse hair. It was traditionally a Native American venue,” Zimmerman said.

As of 2011, Zimmerman had completed more than 1,000 woven pieces and won more than 200 art and exhibit awards.

“I don’t do a lot of art pieces anymore,” Zimmerman said.

She is still obsessed with weaving and sells a lot of her work on Her biggest sellers are hand-woven wedding baskets for flower girls to carry.

“I’m really loving doing this natural stuff, right now,” she said of the baskets.

The Hobson Pittman Memorial Gallery is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about the exhibit, call 252-823-4159 or email