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Artist Statement
Today, the Lumbee Pinecone Patchwork is quickly becoming the symbol of unity for the Lumbee people. I personally wanted to draw upon the traditional design and consciously create an art form that could be incorporated into the daily lives of Lumbee people. Not everyone owns or wears the traditional Lumbee regalia, yet so many adore the patchwork design. My contemporary art version of the pinecone patchwork represents the modern day Lumbee, yet still honors the generations that have come before us; their struggles and fights that have led to the opportunities that so many of us have today. During this process I have acquired a renewed sense of the craftsmanship and heritage from which it was derived. I hope each owner will appreciate both as well. Each piece is a hand-crafted component of the Lumbee heritage and not store bought, factory made “native art”.

James MalcolmI am inspired by the unlimited potential of materials that can be used in the design. The combination of special paper, fabrics, and other textiles that I use to create the patchwork art is inspirational. The invigorating part of the process is choosing the palette I will create from. I am able to choose the patterns, textures, and colors of material combinations that match each personality. Each piece is pridefully hand crafted and a distinct representation of the owner. This is definitely the driving force in my creativity. I embrace the moment when the piece comes together and the owner says, “Wow! That looks exactly like me!”

Through the process of creating the pinecone patchwork art, I have developed my own personal “signature” design. The technique in which the patches are pieced to form a swirl-like motion is unique in design. For the inner circle, I incorporate genuine pinecone tips to embody the Long Leaf Pine Tree which the original design was adapted from. This design is one a kind and only available through DarkWaterDesigns.com. The name of my business, Dark Water Designs, was inspired by the dark waters of the Lumber River. The Lumber River flows through Robeson County, NC and is an intricate part of the Lumbee people. For that reason, we are commonly referred to as “People of the Dark Water”.

God has truly blessed me to be able to produce artwork that resonates in the lives of my Lumbee people. I must give Him ALL the honor and glory for my creative abilities and passion that drives me on a consistent basis.

James Malcolm, Dark Water Designs
June 2008

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© 2008 Dark Water Designs


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