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 a worthy 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. Other times I have to keep changing course in order to successfully bring everything together. However the “conversation” goes, every basket gives me fresh opportunities to hone my skills and explore color and form in endless variety.
I begin by selecting fabrics which, when brought together for the first time, pique my interest. Most often, I choose 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 individual artisans and entire communities for centuries. I love knowing that it it’s small way, my work contributes to the welfare these multi-generational collectives.
After cutting the 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 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 140 feet of cord to complete.
A finished piece often inspires a small series of variations, but like centuries of artists and artisans, my inspiration most often springs from the natural environment. 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 own unique character. As I secure the last stitch, I often sense that this fresh new piece will always remain a part of me, but is no longer mine. It is ready for a life of its own.
I feel that what sets my work apart is my dedication to:
- top-notch craftsmanship;
- achieving structural integrity without the use of toxic glues or chemical stabilizers;
- 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.