Sharle Osborne at Containers show opening
I took the photo above of our friend Sharle Osborne at the opening of the show “Containers, Contained, Containment” at the Arts Council of Snohomish County. Her piece called “Early Detection” on the pedestal behind her appears to be giving her ‘rabbit ears’. Her sculpture is woven from western red cedar bark, waxed linen, and buff willow. Fortunately for all of us, Sharle is a cancer survivor. She is one of Katherine’s long term basketry buddies. (How do I say that with out getting into trouble?!)
This show coincides with the Bellevue Art Museum’s show “Intertwined: Contemporary Baskets from the Sara and David Lieberman Collection”, as well as basketry focused shows at several area galleries. Jan Hopkins has put together a blog with many photos of these shows. You will see a few of my photos from the “Containers” opening included. My earlier post about the opening is here.
P.S. The large sculpture to the left is “Cedar Perfume Bottle” by Sue Skelly.
willow cuttings from Dunbar Gardens
We have been growing willow for basketry since 1994 at Dunbar Gardens. As Katherine became interested in willow basketmaking, she realized she would need to grow her own materials since very little cultivated willow was available to purchase in our area. In addition, it gave her more choice in selecting the size, color, flexibility and other characteristics of the willow she weaves with. As a result, we have tried quite a number of species and varieties of Salix here and currently have 60 varieties growing. We have planted over ten thousand willow cuttings on our Skagit Valley farm. Willow is easy to propagate in most soils. An eight to twelve inch cutting taken from a dormant one year old rod is planted directly into the ground in Spring. March thru April is an ideal time to plant. We have willows that are useful for basketry, garden trellises, living fences, furniture, and ornamental hedges. Willow is a very useful family of plants!
We have a list and descriptions of some of the varieties that we have had success with on our website. We are now cutting our willows and will begin shipping orders for cuttings next month.
Replica (on left) of traditional French oyster basket
Two willow baskets for packing oysters. The basket on the right belongs to Jon Rowley of Seattle who picked it up from a basketmaker in France back in the 70′s. Jon came by Dunbar Gardens after seeing my photos of Katherine’s baskets on Flickr.com. He brought his oyster basket along and left it with Katherine to check out. Jon works with Taylor Shellfish here in the Puget Sound region and has a vast knowledge and appreciation for oysters.
The basket is a traditional form used to pack oysters to market (baskets were then returned stacked in each other). Katherine made the basket on the left as a copy. (Not bad for a first go!) She admires the efficient design of the original – a stake on each side becomes the handle, the border narrow on the back, the hinges made from one piece, the slewed base, and no waling which makes the shaping and corners more of a challenge. She did find a short description of a similar basket in “La Vannerie – l’osier” which is a French basketmaking manual. We have put Katherine’s version to use as a kitchen potato storage basket
Dunbar Gardens postcard
Here is my latest “postcard”. I like to make a montage of photos into a postcard for a Dunbar Gardens ‘handout’. We put our upcoming events and contact info on the backside of the card. Then we have something to offer folks who come by our table at events or even those who stop by the farm. I will say that I still don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to putting the image together with Photoshop, but I usually come out the other side with something to use.
previous Dunbar Gardens postcard