Grand champion

Grand Champion at the Puyallup Fair

Grand Champion at the Puyallup Fair

Katherine recently won the Grand Champion ribbon in the professional basket maker division of the home arts competitions at the Puyallup Fair, or officially the Western Washington Fair.  She won the blue ribbon in the wickerwork category and the overall winner. This year the fair ran from September 11-27 and had well over a million visitors. In recent years, entries in the basketry categories had been dropping; so members of the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild made an effort to encourage participation this year. Katherine was fortunate to have Vicky Nickelson transport her basket to and from the fair. In case weavers are interested, the basket was made from Salix purpurea ‘nana’.

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Thank you gift

Kathey Ervin purse

Kathey Ervin purse

Katherine recently received this lovely purse from basketmaker Kathey Ervin. Kathey has a business called The Basketry Studio in Sequim, WA. She makes baskets and teaches classes using Northwest native materials. The purse was an unexpected thank you for Katherine’s help in transporting Kathey’s work for the “Containers” show in Everett, as well as help on last November’s “Northwest Basket Weavers Guild regional basket day” in Sequim.

Kathey Ervin purse

Kathey Ervin purse

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Spring Retreat

Katherine Lewis potato basket class

Katherine Lewis potato basket class

Katherine recently attended the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild Spring Retreat. She was the teacher of two classes at this annual event. Over 100 basketmakers came to take classes, weave, and socialize from March 18-22 at the Pilgrim Firs Conference Center in Port Orchard, WA. Katherine had two full classes. The first was an Irish potato basket. Check out the lovely colors in this traditional basket in the photo above. The willows are all from Dunbar Gardens. In the center of the photo holding her basket above her head is Alex Keggan who often helps Katherine in her classes. The other class was a willow square tray. The stakes on these are scallomed on the square base. Those borders and corners can be a real challenge.

some of the square tray class

some of the square tray class

Katherine was joined at the retreat by her friend and fellow willow basketmaker Kelly Wilson from Courtenay on Vancouver Island in Canada.

Katherine & Kelly

Katherine & Kelly

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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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