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.
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.
The 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 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.
Last year at this time we were in the middle of all the excitement of Katherine’s willow baskets at the Cole-Ware Exhibition at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC and her teaching at the National Basketry Organization Conference at Arrowmont in Gatlinburg, TN. This year’s events are a little closer to home. Details below about two upcoming shows in our area. We are also happy to announce that Katherine will be back teaching at the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild Retreat in March.
October 31, November 1 and 2 at Maple Hall, 104 Commercial Street: Annual arts celebration in nearby La Conner, WA featuring work from 13 invitational artists and over 80 works in the open show where Katherine will have a basket called Pi(e) (image left). There will be an opening on the Friday evening from 5-9pm with live music, wine and food. There will also be artist demonstrations throughout the weekend. Katherine will be demonstrating her willow basketry from 1-3pm on Sunday. She will have several more willow baskets on display in the demo area. Admission is free.
Opening Friday, November 14 6-8pm, Open Sat.-Sun. Nov, 15-16 & Nov. 22-23, 10-5. An arts and crafts show held twice each year in the Skagit Valley at the historic Rexville Grange (19299 Rexville Grange Road). Katherine will have a large selection of her baskets available. There will be paintings, pottery, fiber arts, jewelry, photography and more by an impressive list of local artists. The opening evening on November 14 will feature live Celtic music by Campbell Road as well as refreshments and a chance to mingle with artists and friends. If you want a chance to chat with Katherine other than the opening, she is scheduled to work all day on Saturday Nov. 22.
March 11-15, 2015, Pilgrim Firs Conference Center, Kitsap Peninsula: Katherine will be teaching two willow basket classes at this year’s retreat. One is a 14 hour class making Katherine’s ‘potluck’ basket and the other is a 19 hour class making her willow ‘purse’. If you have been wanting to take classes from her, this will be a great opportunity. Class size is limited to 10 people and will probably fill so you are advised to check the website soon for the class descriptions and brochure (probably early November). You need to be a member of the Guild, but you can join on your registration form for the retreat. It’s a fun event and organization.
Earlier this year Katherine joined the Board of the NBO. She has been a member for several years and was invited to teach at the conference last year. The conference next year will be in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota July 14-19, 2015. The Board has been working hard to make it another great event. Katherine has been working on getting the various basketry guilds across the country more involved with the organization. She hopes many of you will consider joining or supporting the NBO.
Time to start thinking about willow cuttings. 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 soon with 2015 availability and prices. If you ordered in previous years, we love to hear feedback on how the varieties are growing in your area. Last year alone we shipped out some 8000 cuttings so we hope there will be a lot of willow baskets getting woven in the near future.
A big thanks to everyone who has purchased Katherine’s baskets! Just a reminder to order early if you want something before the end of the year!
Facebook: Dunbar Gardens has a Facebook page. We post photos of Katherine’s latest baskets, commissions, and photos of the farm.
Pinterest: Dunbar Gardens now has a Pinterest page where we have boards featuring Katherine’s baskets, basketry willow, other willow baskets and makers, as well as some bird photos.
For more information about classes, baskets, willow growing, or our farmstand please visit our website. Thanks!
Katherine & Steve
Katherine was honored to have three of her baskets chosen for the 19th Juried Art Show at the Schack Art Center in Everett, WA. The show opened on June 19 and will end August 2. It is a biennial exhibit of Northwest artists in a wide variety of mediums. This year’s jurors were Jan Hopkins, Ken Rowe and Joan Pinney. You can view the complete list of artists and images of the work on the Schack website.
There are two basket makers in the show with Dorothy McGuinness in addition to Katherine. One of Dorothy’s pieces “Threshold” was awarded Second Place in 3D works. Katherine received an Honorable Mention for her basket “Pi(e)” seen in the image above. Of course, anyone involved with basketry or fiber arts will recognize the name of juror Jan Hopkins. It definitely adds to the honor of having work chosen for the show.
Katherine appreciates the opportunity to display her baskets in an art venue like the Schack. Since her work emphasizes the functional element, it is not often she gets her work juried into exhibits.
Katherine works almost exclusively with willow, but occasionally she experiments with other materials. The third basket in the show titled “Slingshot” has rubber strips used in the side weavers along with the willow base, stakes, border and handle. She uses a zig zag weave with the strips doubled up to get a different look inside and out.
We hope people have a chance to see the exhibit before it closes. Thanks again to the jurors, gallery director Carrie Collver and all the staff at the Schack.