A couple of months ago on an early morning walk I spotted some tree surgeons felling some pine trees, not far from my house. The branches were laden with large semi-ripe and green pinecones, which I was eager to gather. After a word with the tree surgeons, they let me through the boundary tape, and I filled my bags to the brim. Typically, since then the pinecones have sat on the floor right where I dumped them (it's fatal having a 'junk' room), while time ticked by and I vaguely thought about what I might do with them. Some will certainly make lovely large firelighters, and probably be given away as presents. Some have opened out in the warmer inside environment, while others are still firmly closed.
These were the ones that I picked out. I scrubbed and dried them, and then painted them with white liquid acrylic ink which is semi-transparent. Last time, I painted small cones on the inside. This time, I wanted to define the outside of the cones before bringing them into the warmth of my sunny little conservatory, where the heat of the sun has caused them to crackle and open out.
They have a beautiful sculptural quality, and I love their shape. I think all these cones are from the Monterey Pine as they're squat and lop-sided (and very common trees round the coast of Cornwall).