Basketry of the Pacific Northwest

green oval panier a jour

green oval panier a jour

Katherine was pleased to be invited to participate in Basketry of the Pacific Northwest on view in The Lab at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon from July 28 through August 29. This exhibit is a small show in the Community Showcase which features Northwest basket makers, both traditional and contemporary. The show was juried by Charissa Brock and runs in conjunction with The National Basketry Organization‘s 2009 conference in Portland.

The call for entries asked for basketry submissions that have an inspirational tie to an object or image that the artist has in their studio. For Katherine, one of her sources of inspiration are the baskets that she has made while learning from some of her mentors. Below is a photo of an open work French basket that she made while taking a course with Norbert Faure at the Cooperative of Vannerie in Villaines-les-Rochers which inspired the oval panier a jour woven with green Dicky Meadows willow with peeled buff for the fitching in the photo above, one of the baskets accepted for the exhibit.

traditional oval panier a jour

traditional oval panier a jour

Actually, Katherine was lucky to even apply for the exhibit. Thanks goes to Susi Nuss and her BasketMakers blog who posted on Tuesday, June 30 that the deadline for submissions had been extended to Monday, July 6. Ironically this was the first time we had even heard of this exhibit; so she had less than a week to consider submitting. (Though now Katherine can’t complain too much about my time following all the blogs!) The choice was made a little easier because Kat Perez at the Museum allowed the submission to be e-mailed.

With other projects to complete, she could only squeeze in a couple of days to make some possible entries and get me to photograph them. As those of you who work with ‘brown’ willows know, it also depended on what was soaked up at the moment.

Skagit tray

Skagit tray

She decided on making baskets that are fairly typical of her work like the oval panier a jour and this tray that is based on an Irish potato basket. The inspiration for these trays are the willows we grow and harvest on our farm.

willow harvested at Dunbar Gardens

willow harvested at Dunbar Gardens

Three submissions were allowed for each entry. The third basket Katherine submitted and the third basket she made last week to submit was the one not chosen. But we sold it for a wedding present today!

willow vase

willow vase

But even if none of them had been selected, Katherine still needed more baskets for the local Skagit Artists Together studio tour this coming weekend. So if you’re in Portland, check out  the Museum of Contemporary Craft and this exhibit which includes not only Katherine’s baskets but work by Pat Courtney Gold, Donna Crispin, Carol Horvath, Claudia Mullek, Patti Shaw, Shannon Weber, Linda Hendrickson, and Nanette Davis.

P.S.:

The Lab at Museum of Contemporary Craft

The Lab at Museum of Contemporary Craft

We were sent this photo sheet by exhibition coordinator Kat Perez. You can click on the image to get a larger size.

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Basketmaking classes

Katherine teaching willow basketmaking

Katherine teaching willow basketmaking

We recently mailed out our schedule of willow basketry classes for 2009. Katherine Lewis has seven classes scheduled for the Mount Vernon area. The classes are two days and everyone leaves with a finished basket, usually pretty nice even if they are a beginner. We provide the materials and have plenty of tools for everyone. There is a variety of baskets to choose from and most classes will accomodate a range of skill levels. Check out our website for more information. Would you like to receive future mailings of classes and events from Dunbar Gardens? You can join our mailing list by sending an email (no text necessary) to new-subscribe@dunbargardens.com. We use “Mailman” software to manage our list; so you will be asked to verify your subscription through a return email message.

gathering basket class

gathering basket class

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Crafts Report

oval panier a jour

oval panier a jour

Check out the Crafts Report Insight April 2009: Baskets. Katherine was one of 13 artisans chosen to share business insights with fellow craftspeople. The editor asked basketmakers to contribute a couple of images and a 100 word essay for this online feature. Believe me; it is difficult to write a concise but interesting tip about marketing your work. I usually end up in the role of editor in Katherine’s marketing efforts. I’m also her photographer which may put her at a disadvantage! I’m always open to constructive criticism on the photos.

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Basketry demonstration day at BAM

Katherine Lewis demo at Bellevue Arts Museum

Katherine Lewis demo at Bellevue Arts Museum

Katherine was invited to participate in a basketry demonstration day at the Bellevue Arts Museum this past Saturday, Feb. 7. Another one of a series of events surrounding one of BAM’s current exhibits: “Intertwined: Contemporary Baskets from the Sara and David Lieberman Collection (through March 22, 2009). There were five demonstrating artists – Dona Anderson, Dorothy McGuinness, Bill Roeder, Judy Zugish, and Katherine. There was also a “hands-on weaving” table staffed by members of the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild including Mary Irvine, Mary Auld, Carol Williams, Pat Reese, Pat Rytkonen, and Claudia Mullek. There were quite a few people taking in the demos as well as the great exhibits. Katherine made an oval shopping basket for her demonstration. One of the fun moments comes when she is “staking up” the basket. It takes a lot of floor space but always attracts an audience.

Katherine staking up the basket

Katherine staking up the basket

Some more of the talented participants:

Dona Anderson

Dona Anderson

Dorothy McGuinness

Dorothy McGuinness

Bill Roeder

Bill Roeder

Judy Zugish

Judy Zugish

Northwest Basket Weavers Guild members

Northwest Basket Weavers Guild members

After the day’s events, we viewed the museum exhibits. It was Steve’s  first view of the Intertwined exhibit. There was some great works. A few that stood out for me were baskets  by Leon Niehues, Pearl Nuvangyaoma, Sally Black, Mary Black, Dawn Walden, Fujinoma Noboru, Carol Stein, and Dorothy Gill Barnes.

Then we went out into neighboring Bellevue to find something to eat. Saturday night in downtown was a sensory overload for this country bumpkin!

Ries Niemi's purse sculpture

Ries Niemi's purse sculpture

Katherine ‘trapped’ in our friend and fellow Skagit County resident Ries Niemi’s purse sculpture outside the BAM’s entrance.

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