August 2015 newsletter

Summertime and the living is busy! Katherine is just back from the biennial conference of the National Basketry Organization. As a current Board member of the organization, the past months have been a busy time preparing for the event. Two years ago Katherine was a teacher; this year she was one of the worker bees making the event go smoothly. However there is no time to rest with upcoming events in August and September. Read on.

Weaving Willow

Katherine Lewis large willow Irish potato basketLa Conner Quilt & Textile Museum: August 5 – 30, 2015 in La Conner, WA. Katherine has been invited to exhibit her baskets in the museum’s Landmarks Gallery for the month of August. There will be an opening reception on August 5 from 4-6 pm. This is a great fiber arts venue and Katherine is excited for the opportunity for her first solo show. She has been working on some new baskets and will have a nice selection of her work on display. There will be two other fiber arts shows in the museum concurrently – quilts by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry and fiber art from several Graduate Students of the Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts.

Trip to Europe

Katherine Lewis weaving willow basket at Poland's wicker festivalThird World Wicker and Weaving Festival in Nowy Tomyśl, Poland: August 21 -23, 2015. Katherine is headed back to this large gathering of weavers hosted in Poland. She attended the festival in 2011 and had a great time meeting basket makers from around the world. The event has weaving competitions, basket and sculpture exhibits, craft fair and more; all combined for a remarkable event. Katherine is traveling with her friend Maria Bullock from Orcas Island who is a native of Poland. After the festival, they are going to learn some traditional baskets from Polish weavers. They are planning on some other stops in the UK, Netherlands and Czech Republic. Look for trip photos and updates on our Facebook page.

Basketry Classes

Katherine Lewis oval garden basketSeptember 16-19, 2015: Columbia Basin Basketry Guild Fall Retreat. Katherine will be teaching two classes at the CBBG annual gathering of basketmakers at Rockaway Beach, Oregon. As of now the Irish Potato Basket class is full, but there are a couple of spots left in the Oval Flower Basket. All info and registration is available through the CBBG website.

January 27-31, 2016: Northwest Basket Weavers Guild Annual Retreat. Katherine has submitted proposals for classes for this upcoming event. We will post info to our website when we know which classes have been chosen.

May 14-15, 2016: San Juan Island Textile Guild. Katherine has been invited out to teach a two day class in fitching on San Juan Island.

All Things Considered VIII

Katherine Lewis willow basket Moon 2National Basketry Organization exhibition: July 9 – August 9, 2015, The Grand Hand Gallery, St. Paul, MN. September 19 – November 8, 2015, Fruitlands Museum, Harvard, MA. Biennial exhibition of outstanding basketry work sponsored by the NBO. Katherine’s piece is titled Moon 2, a willow tray 20″ x 6″. There is a catalog available from the NBO.

Willow Cuttings

It might be time to start thinking about willow cuttings. It’s always good to have an idea of where you are going to plant next spring in case you need to prepare the spot this fall. Steve takes orders starting January 1 through March 31. We ship orders through the end of May according to your planting needs. We will be updating the website with 2016 availability and prices by the end of the year. If you ordered in previous years, we love to hear feedback on how the varieties are growing in your area.

Katherine Lewis willow baskets with Spike the basket catBaskets

A big thanks to everyone who has purchased Katherine’s willow baskets. Working basketmakers help keep the traditions alive.

Best wishes,
Katherine, Steve & Spike


9th Anniversary gift: willow

willow trivets by Katherine LewisOne morning in November we received an email from Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. Since it was the 20th anniversary of the magazine, the style editors were creating a photo montage of anniversary gifts for the Winter 2015 issue. They wanted an image of a Katherine Lewis willow basket for the 9th anniversary gift of willow. Of course their deadline was the next day!

willow small fruit baskets by Katherine LewisThey had pulled some photos of fruit baskets and trivets off our website as examples. What they needed were high resolution images. I started browsing photos, picking out possibilities and adding them to a dropbox folder. I picked out some additional baskets that might make good ninth anniversary gifts like Irish potato baskets, flower gathering basket and some lovely arm baskets.

willow garden basket by Katherine LewisThe magazine’s art team gave me a thumbs down on my images and wanted to shoot them in-house. Well by now it was close to 5 in New York, and a little late for the assistant style editor to get approval for giving me access to their shipping account. We were easily persuaded to overnight ship at our expense and invoice them later for the cost. Didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity! We packed up a couple of Irish skibs and a couple of trivets that Colleen requested. We took a big gulp when we saw the express overnight shipping price to New York. But hey, ‘Martha’ will be good for it later, right?

So the baskets arrived the next morning and were photographed by the magazine’s pros. Details confirmed in the afternoon and a Katherine Lewis willow trivet was in the photo spread. “Will they be available for sale starting December 22?” Katherine made plans to weave some trivets!

anniversary gifts by year from Martha Stewart Weddings magazine

photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

The magazine was released at the end of December, and they eventually posted an on-line gallery of the 20 gifts. How fun! When we shared the link to our Dunbar Gardens Facebook page, people were quick to comment that we were going to get slammed with orders. What orders? No rush for trivets so far. We have had many 9th anniversary gift buyers over the years. However most of them have been men buying something willow for women, or occasionally another man. So we had to ponder how many men are looking at Martha Stewart Weddings magazine? Probably not enough!

9th anniversary willow trivet

Thanks to Colleen Banks and Martha Stewart Weddings! You can view more suggestions for willow baskets to gift on the ninth anniversary here on one of our Pinterest boards.





Ten willow baskets

We recently had to prepare ten images of Katherine Lewis willow baskets for an application. It’s always a challenge to distill her work down to just ten baskets. Limiting work to the past three years actually gives a needed structure to the search. Of course, we always find that outstanding willow basket made for a customer that wasn’t photographed with a neutral background. However the real problem is paring it down to something that shows her diverse skills but still seems cohesive. Here are the ten baskets Steve collated to showcase Katherine’s skills as a traditional willow basket maker. Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image, click on the arrows to view the next images.

Rexville Grange Art Show

willow baskets by Katherine Lewis

Katherine Lewis willow baskets at the Rexville Grange Art Show

The Rexville Grange Art Show is an arts and crafts show held twice each year in the Skagit Valley. The show features some outstanding artisans working in wood, weaving, glass, pottery, painting, photography and jewelry. This year the November edition of the show is extended to two weekends – Nov. 14-16 and Nov. 22-23. The Grange Hall is located at 19299 Rexville Grange Road, just off Best Road a block from the Rexville Grocery.

Campbell Road, celtic musicThe opening was Friday evening November 14 with live music and refreshments. Campbell Road provided some lively Celtic tunes while folks mingled, met the artists and shopped. You can find images and website links to all the local artists on the show’s website here.


Katherine Lewis, willow basket maker

Katherine Lewis, willow basketmaker

Katherine had a fun time chatting with customers and friends. It is always gratifying to not only sell some work, but also hear the appreciative comments. Although she sold several of her willow baskets at the opening, there are still quite a few willow baskets for the coming weekend. Below is a gallery of some of the Katherine Lewis willow baskets available at the art show. Can’t make it to the show this weekend? You can always check our website to see the baskets in stock page or the willow basket gallery for info on what you can order.