Artist Susan Perrine is going to create a twig structure at Maine Coast Artist Gallery for the upcoming “Inspired by the Earth” art show. On Tuesday, Aug. 5, from 1 to 4 p.m., she invites children of all ages to help finish the construction at 10 Harbor Road.

The Woven Twig Garden Structure project was developed to teach simple weaving techniques in a very big way. Perrine’s aim is to build solely by relying on the tensile strength of the materials used. The first circular twig hut was built during Providence Waterfront Festival on a very drizzly weekend in 1998. Since then, many have been constructed in public gardens in New England and New York.

In the spring of 2008, students at Belfast’s Troy Howard School wove an enclosed structure in their organic garden, big enough to hold 20 students. Seeds were planted around the circumference and in a few short months, the twig structure was enveloped with lush, green, climbing vegetable and edible flower vines.

“I went back to see it in September to find a living green enclosure. Entering the hut was a breathtaking experience. Lush green and yellow gourds were resting along the horizontal elements of the twig structure from floor to ceiling,” Perrine said.

The artist grew up on a farm and spent a lot of time outdoors. She uses materials she finds in the environment, often gathering twigs from trees that have been cut for other uses and collecting things that would otherwise be discarded.

“Plastic, coffee bags, worn books, broken glass or a rusty metal object can sometimes inspire a whole project," she said.

Perrine was awarded Yankee Magazine’s Best of New England Twig Garden Structures in the March/April issue and in June received Editor’s Choice award from Down East Magazine for her Woven Twig Garden Structures. The Friendship structure will be planted after it is constructed and will remain at Maine Coast Artist Gallery for local children and all to enjoy. The fee for Tuesday’s workshop is $10 per person.

The “Inspired by the Earth” show will have an artist reception and opening Saturday, Aug. 9, from 4 to 7 p.m. For more information about the show and to register for the workshop, call Kat Logan at 226-7446 or email her at

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or