My baskets serve as both functional and decorative works of art. Initiating the creative process for each new piece is like striking up a conversation with someone I’m eager to get to know; I may not know where it will lead, or how it will conclude, but it’s always an adventure. The basketry techniques that I have developed allow me to make spontaneous choices along the way regarding size, form, color placement and pattern shifts. Sometimes the process flows almost effortlessly and I lose all sense of time. Other times, I find that I need to keep changing course in order to successfully bring my strand of evolving decisions together. However the conversation goes, each piece gives me fresh opportunities to hone my skills and explore color, texture and form in endless depth.
I begin by selecting fabrics which, when brought together for the first time, pique my interest. Most often, I’m drawn to hand-dyed cottons produced by Indonesian artisans using ancient wax-resist (batik) techniques. Batiking is an art form in and of itself, that has sustained not only individual artisans and their families, but entire communities for centuries. I love knowing that in its own small way, my work contributes to the welfare these multi-generational collectives.
After cutting my fabrics into narrow strips, I fold and crease each piece lengthwise to prevent fraying and bolster construction. Once the strips are prepared, the construction process begins.
I coil the fabric firmly around a solid braided cord, hand-splicing each strip to the next. Splicing requires time and precision, but allows for spontaneity and assures that, unlike much of the coiled textile work on the market today, my pieces are not only eco-friendly, food-safe and durable, but free of toxic adhesives that can break down and leech to the surface.
Starting at the center of the base, I work intuitively- allowing nuances of color, form and pattern to evolve as the piece takes shape. Continuous rounds of zig-zag stitching join one coiled layer to the next. A large basket contains dozens of splices, thousands of stitches, and can require upwards of 160 feet of cord to complete.
After the last stitch is in place, I often embellish the inside and/or outside surfaces and apply a thin veneer of food safe, earth friendly purified beeswax for added durability and protection.
A finished piece often inspires a small series of variations, but like generations of artists and artisans before me, I find inspiration most often springs from nature. I often envision the layers I’m building as near, or far horizons— inner reflections on the outdoor world. Thus a finished piece may suggest a coastal sunrise, granite ledge, field of wild blossoms, or celestial event in the night sky. Each piece develops its unique character as it comes together in my hands. As I secure the last stitch, I sense that my latest work will remain part of me, but is no longer mine. It is has a life of its own.
What sets my work apart is my dedication to:
- top-notch craftsmanship;
- achieving structural integrity without the use of toxic adhesives;
- providing a smooth durable finish, inside and out; and
- timeless design that assures many years of use and enjoyment.
Contact me for current information on product availability.