August newsletter

Katherine Lewis, Arts at the Port opening

Upcoming events

Anacortes Arts Festival Arts at the Port Juried Exhibition: August 6-8, Exhibition entitled “Next” juried by Esther Luttikhuizen showing a diverse mix of work in fine crafts, painting, sculpture, and photography. Katherine is excited to have four pieces selected for the show which reflect the diversity of her willow basketry work. You can visit the fine arts exhibit for free any day of the festival.

Art of the Garden: July 8-August 19, Arts Council of Snohomish County Gallery located in the historic Monte Cristo in Everett at 1507 Wall Street. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10-5, and Saturdays from 11-4. Katherine has four baskets for sale in this show featuring artwork that enhances the garden or brings the garden into the home.

Seattle Tilth Harvest Fair:  September 11, 10am-5pm, Good Shepherd Center in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. Annual event celebrating urban gardening and local farms. Katherine will be there with her baskets and demonstrating her work showing that our farms produce useful products other than food.

Festival of Family Farms at Gordon Skagit Farms: October 2 & 3, 10am-4pm, 15598 McLean Rd., Mount Vernon (just around the corner from Dunbar Gardens). Katherine will be demonstrating willow basketmaking and selling baskets at the Gordon’s Autumn Harvest Farmstand as part of the annual Skagit Valley farm tour.

Looking ahead: Exploring Baskets: A juried show and sale of work by members of the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild: December 3- January 29, 2010 at the Depot Arts Center, Anacortes, WA. Katherine is involved in organizing this show and expects an outstanding and diverse exhibit.

Willow Basketmaking Classes with Katherine Lewis

There is one more class scheduled this summer and there are a couple of spaces open.

willow shoppermagazine basketsquare shopper

August 16-17 (Monday-Tuesday): Scallomed projects

This class provides baskets at all weaving levels. We will weave the base on a hoop frame, and scallom on the stakes. The oval shopper is the simplest of the shapes, great for beginners. The magazine basket is a skinny long oval basket with a lengthwise handle, making it great for magazines or books next to your favorite chair. The square basket is great for shopping, and is a chance for those with previous willow experience to learn square shaping and square border corners. Experience with willow is helpful, and comfort using a knife is essential for this class.

Classes at other locations

October 21-23: Tidal Twinings, Columbia Basin Basketry Guild Fall Retreat in Rockaway, Oregon.

willow bike basketwillow berry basket

Katherine will be teaching two classes at the CBBG retreat this year. Willow bicycle basket on Thursday & Friday and a Berry picking basket on Saturday. You can be a member of either the CBBG or the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild to attend this fun event. See their website for details and contact info.

Farmstand: We have a selection of garden fresh produce for sale now Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 10-6. You can stop by any day of the week if you want to look at the baskets we have on hand.

Facebook: Dunbar Gardens has a Facebook page. If you are a Facebook user, check out the photos and postings there.

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


Katherine & Steve


Anacortes Arts Festival “Next”

Arts at the Port postcard

The 2010 Anacortes Arts Festival starts with the Arts at the Port opening Friday, July 30, 5:30-8:00 pm. Katherine is excited to have four baskets chosen for the open juried show entitled “Next”. Juried by Esther Luttikhuizen, the exhibit showcases work from 32 artists each displaying 3 to 5 pieces. The exhibit includes painting, photography, sculpture, and fine crafts from Northwest artists. The opening Friday evening will be the first chance to see the work and meet the artists as well as enjoy food, wine, and entertainment in a great venue on the waterfront. Katherine plans on attending. You can see a slide show of all the work in the exhibit on the Anacortes Arts Festival website.

Anacortes Arts Festival willow baskets by Katherine Lewis

These are the four baskets by Katherine Lewis to be exhibited at the Arts at the Port show.


Art of the Garden in Everett

blue willow rope coil

blue willow rope coil

Katherine will be showing four baskets at the upcoming exhibit “Art of the Garden” presented by the Arts Council of Snohomish County at the Gallery at the historic Monte Cristo in Everett, Washington July 8-August 19, 2010. Over fifty artists will display work inspired by the garden or to bring the garden into the home. There will be work in a wide variety of mediums including glass, ceramics, painting , photography, and basketry. You can see the full list of artists on the Arts Council website.

Irish willow potato basket

Irish potato basket

Katherine’s work includes this traditional Irish potato basket form made from some of the colorful willows we grow on the farm. The basket at the top of the post is a Scottish rope coil made from Salix daphnoides; an interesting looking blue willow that is difficult to work with. She also included a basket that is not only made from the garden, but one you can use to harvest the garden.

willow flower gathering basket

willow garden basket

There will be an opening reception on Thursday, July 8 from 5 to 8pm to meet the artists and see the work. The event is free to the public. The gallery is located at 1507 Wall Street in downtown Everett. Hours are Monday-Friday 10-5 and Saturday 11-4. The art work is for sale.

willow tray

willow tray


NBO exhibit at The Bascom

fitched willow market basket

Katherine was recently invited to send some of her work to an exhibit of National Basketry Organization members at The Bascom, a non-profit center for the visual arts in Highlands, North Carolina. The Bascom art center is located on 6 acres of beautiful pastoral land with buildings that encompass museum quality galleries and art studios for instruction. Artistic Director Kaye Gorecki worked with NBO President Michael Davis to select a few basketmakers to showcase in a small exhibit June 12-July 18. Katherine was honored to be chosen along side some outstanding artists that included  Jackie Abrams, JoAnn Kelly Catsos, JoAnn Russo, Donya Stockton, and Pamela Zimmerman.

An exhibit of contemporary basketmakers should be a nice compliment to another work at The Bascom. Beginning June 2, sculptor  Patrick Dougherty is constructing a site specific work on The Bascom grounds. He has made his unique structures all over the world. Katherine had the opportunity to volunteer a couple of days on a work he made in Lynden, Washington a few years ago.willow basket purse by Katherine Lewis

Katherine only had a week’s notice to decide what to send. Unfortunately there was no time to make anything specifically for the exhibit, so she picked out these two baskets to send. The oval market basket or “panier á jour” is woven primarily with our farm “‘brown” (with bark) willow and “buff” (peeled) willow for the fitching. It is a traditional French design, but woven with the “browns” rather than all peeled. The small square purse is an original design woven from willow with a braided leather strap. Katherine hopes viewers will appreciate these functional forms of contemporary basketry.

Post Script: Well there are good experiences and there are learning experiences…

crushed box

This is how our box looked when it returned from the exhibit. The Bascom sent it back by UPS ground. When we opened the box we saw that the ‘panier á jour’ had been packed incorrectly – upright instead of sideways and without the cardboard baffles like when we shipped it by FedEx. The Bascom’s exhibitions registrar replied to our complaint “I want to assure you that it was not done through carelessness.” Really? It seemed like a double dose of carelessness from the packer and UPS. And we end up with a basket that is decidedly tweaked in shape.
Most of our boxes only go one way – direct to the customer and we’ve never had a basket damaged in shipping. I guess we should have been reading the helpful info over on Ask Harriete about packing your artwork for delivery to and return from exhibits. Chalk it up as a learning experience.