January 2012 newsletter

Happy New Year!

Strata basket by Katherine Lewis

Four views of a basket by Katherine Lewis

We hope your new year is off to a good start. 2011 was a busy year for us. As many of you know, Katherine made a six week trip to Europe to visit basketry festivals, basketmakers, museums, and study willow basketry to improve her skills and knowledge of the craft. See below for information about her upcoming presentation in Seattle on the trip. After getting back, Katherine made several new pieces for Art’s Alive (November 4-6) in La Conner where she was invited to participate in the ‘Emerging Artists’ exhibit. Then we were fortunate to get a mention in a Rita Konig column in the Wall Street Journal about log baskets and fireplaces. Next thing Katherine knew she had a waiting list of orders. Although it is nice to be busy, Katherine hopes to spend time this spring concentrating on work inspired by her trip.

willow log baskets by Katherine Lewis

Log baskets with different weaves: French randing, slewing, cat, English randing

Upcoming Events

Baskets in Europe, 2011: Katherine Lewis presentation to the Northwest Basket Weavers’ Guild, January 11, 2012, 6:30PM, Shoreline Unitarian Church, 14724 1st Avenue NE Shoreline, WA. Katherine will be presenting a program about the three basketry festivals she attended in Europe in 2011. She will show photos and discuss the three festivals in Vallabregues, France; Nowy Tomysl, Poland; and Lichtenfels, Germany. Each festival was unique in both basketmakers and staging of the event. She will also bring baskets that she purchased from some other willow basketmakers. Everyone is welcome to attend. Katherine’s program will begin at 7:30, but baskets and other trip souvenirs will be available for viewing at 6:30.

Fête de la Vannerie à Vallabrègues

Artist Trust Benefit Art Auction: Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center, February 25, 2012. Annual event to benefit Artist Trust which supports Washington artists of all disciplines through grants and career training programs. Katherine received a $1500 grant from Artist Trust to help fund her study with basketmaker David Drew in September, 2011. Katherine is donating one of her baskets for the auction.

willow rope coil basket by Katherine Lewis

“whirlpool” by Katherine Lewis

MoNA Style 2012: Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, WA, March 17, 2012. This annual show features wearable art and home furnishings from Northwest artisans. Part of each sale helps support the museum. Katherine will be there with willow baskets along with 40 other vendors of handmade creations.

two willow totes by Katherine Lewis

Willow Basketmaking Classes with Katherine Lewis

March 14 -15, 2012: Northwest Basketweavers Guild Spring Retreat: Katherine will be teaching one 10 hour class “Double border tray” at this coming year’s retreat. See the Guild’s website for full details. Unfortunately, the Guild is only offering one class by Katherine this year. Want more willow classes at retreat? Make it known to the retreat committee.

June 1-3, 2012: Willow Weekend in Entiat, Washington: This weekend event in eastern Washington organized by Claudia Mullek will feature workshops by Judy Zugish, Jo Campbell-Amsler, and Katherine Lewis. Katherine will be teaching a two day class in which people can weave either a round gathering basket or an oval garden basket. Friday evening will feature presentations by the three artists about their work. You can find details and a registration form here in this pdf on our website.

willow garden basket by Katherine Lewis

Willow Gathering 2012 in Decorah, Iowa, June 21-26, 2012: Katherine has been invited to teach in Iowa at this workshop organized by Jo Campbell-Amsler and Lee Zieke Lee. She will be teaching three two-day classes: rope coil, scallomed oval baskets, and Irish potato basket. For those of you who live in the Midwest this will be a great opportunity to take one or more of Katherine’s classes. Also teaching at the event will be Sandy Whalen and Donna Kallner. The organizers expect the classes to fill well in advance. Information and registrations are available through Jo Campbell-Amsler. See the brochure.

Katherine is expecting to post some dates for classes at Dunbar Gardens for late summer. We’ll be sending another email out later in the spring with updates.

Willow cuttings

Lincon’s Sparrow

It’s the time of year to order willow cuttings. We have a nice selection of varieties for planting listed on our website. Depending on your location, March through mid May is a good time to plant. There are planting tips on the website. If you need advice or have questions, send Steve an email.

Facebook:  Dunbar Gardens has a Facebook page. We post photos of Katherine’s latest baskets, commissions, and photos of the farm as well as other links of interest for willow basketry.

For more information about classes, baskets, willow growing, or our farmstand please visit our website. Thanks!

Katherine & Steve


2 thoughts on “January 2012 newsletter

  1. Thank you for your Newsletter, Katherine and Steve! So much interesting to see! I like very much your baskets and your photos aswell. Do you use only cultivated willow or also wild willow. Here in Finland I can’t imagine nature around you; I don’t know if there is any wild willow 🙂
    I use both, wild and cultivated nowadays; earlier only wild willow. My other materials are willow bark, which I like at the moment perhaps even more than willow, and recycled materials. When I work with recycled materials the main thing is to experiment materials in different techniques – not so much to sell but participants on the courses are interested in using recycled materials, partly because it is not so easy to collect natural materials and seldom possible to buy. I don’t know if that sounds a bit funny if you think that we live so near by the nature, allmost all Finns do.

    With best regards
    Anna-Maria Väätäinen

  2. Hi Anna-Maria, we use willow that we grow, because we have a farm this is the easiest for us. There are wild willows in our area I am sure, but I have not gone out looking for them, the farm land and rows we have planted are right out the back door, and so are much easier. I also enjoy working with willow bark, altho I am much newer to it than you are. I am looking forward to spring when I can harvest some more bark, I am still learning how to process and store it, there is always more to learn, one of the things I like so much about willow!
    I’ve not done much with recycled materials, there are so many weavable plant materials here that it’s hard to imagine wanting a new source of materials, but I have found myself saving strange things thinking of possible projects, so who knows what the future holds!

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