We recently made a slideshow of Katherine weaving a willow log basket. She was commissioned to make four of these for the historic artisans of Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, MA. They are using them as general work baskets so Katherine added a ‘foot’ onto the baskets for better wear. Steve added a little music so it might be enjoyable even if you’re not a basket geek.
Greetings! Katherine has been busy traveling to teach some classes. In early June she was in eastern Washington for a weekend course organized through the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild. This past week she has been in Decorah, Iowa to teach a full week of classes to willow basketry enthusiasts. In between we managed to attend the Edmonds Arts Festival with her baskets. We have finally scheduled a couple of weekend classes for later in the summer here in Mount Vernon. You can scroll down for the details.
In the last mailing we let everyone know about some of Katherine’s baskets acquired by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. They have announced the exhibit dates for the Cole-Ware Collection of American Baskets at the Renwick Gallery for next year, October 4, 2013-January 12, 2014. We’re looking forward to the exhibit and exhibit catalogue. You can read the announcement and find a link to the collection here: http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2013/baskets/. Meanwhile Katherine will have several different pieces in a couple of shows this August closer to home.
This past spring we sent out quite a few willow cuttings all across the country. We always appreciate feedback on how they are growing in your gardens; so drop us a line.
Anacortes Arts Festival, Arts at the Port:August 3-5, 2012, Anacortes, WA. Works by 87 artists were chosen by juror Barbara Matilsky for this year’s exhibit which runs during this weekend celebration of the arts in Anacortes. Katherine is the only basketmaker in the show and will have three pieces featuring her recent work with willow bark including “willow bark pouch” shown below.
Pearls of Experience, Basketry Exhibit: August 9-September 20, 2012. The Northwest Basket Weavers Guild celebrates their 30th anniversary with a juried exhibit of members’ work at the Schack Art Center in Everett, WA. Katherine will have four baskets in the show including “Crazy Quilt” shown below.
Willow Basketmaking Classes with Katherine Lewis
Classes are two days, from 9am to 5pm. everyone will leave with a finished basket. Class size is limited to 10. Cost is $180 per student which includes materials. We provide tea and coffee. Class will be held at the McLean Road Fire Hall meeting room just down the road from Dunbar Gardens. There is a registration form on our website.
August 25-26: Stake and Strand Round Baskets. Depending on each student’s experience, you can make a round gathering basket or a laundry basket with inset handles. We’ll make a round base using twining, stake up the sides and begin the weave with a sturdy base wale. Students can choose between different side weave options. The laundry basket is larger than the gathering basket, taking more hand strength and more time to weave the sides. Both baskets are finished with a traditional willow border. The gathering basket is then completed with a cross handle for carrying. People that have taken previous classes with Katherine can contact her about alternative projects.
September 15-16: Scallomed Oval Baskets. We will weave the base on an oval hoop frame, and scallom on the stakes. Learning to cut scalloms and attach stakes in this way will open up a new way of weaving baskets. The oval shopper is a nice arm basket. The magazine basket is a slim oval basket with a lengthwise handle, making it great for magazines or books. The sides can be woven in a selection of weaves. Comfort using a knife is essential for cutting scalloms!
Classes in other locations:
August 18, 2012: Mary Irvine Basket Day, Northwest Basket Weavers Guild, Seattle, WA: The NWBW’s annual summer gathering for members and guests. Katherine will be teaching two half day classes – ‘willow tension tray’ and ‘braided leather handles’. The Guild pays the instructors’ fees, and members pay only for the materials. Register in advance by July 1. At Meridian Park (50th and Meridian in Wallingford) from 9am – 4:30pm.
October 17-21, 2012: Tidal Twinings, Columbia Basin Basketry Guild Retreat in Rockaway, Oregon: Katherine will be teaching a two day oval laundry basket, one day fruit basket, and a mini class on roped handles. Great opportunity for Oregonians to get three plus days of willow weaving with Katherine.
Farmstand: We are open every day if you would like to look at the baskets we have on hand. We also have some fresh produce from our garden available on the weekends from 10am-6pm.
Facebook: Dunbar Gardens has a Facebook page. We post photos of Katherine’s latest baskets, commissions, and photos of the farm. You don’t have to be a Facebook user to visit our page and look at the photo albums we have posted there.
For more information about classes, baskets, willow growing, or our farmstand please visit our website. Thanks!
Katherine & Steve
18th Juried Art Show at the Schack Art Center (Arts Council of Snohomish County): Everett, WA, June 30 – August 25, 2011. Katherine has one basket – “Harvesting the Skagit” – entered in this biennial exhibit of Northwest artists represented in a wide variety of mediums. Katherine’s piece received an honorable mention in the juror’s awards.
Anacortes Arts Festival – ‘Experience Art’: Anacortes, WA, August 6-7, 2011, 10am – 4pm. Katherine has been invited to be in the ‘Working Artists’ demonstration area. The AAF is one of western Washington’s best arts and crafts festivals. As part of the 50th anniversary of the festival, they will be expanding the number of artists presenting and demonstrating their work in this area at the north end of Commercial Avenue. Come watch and talk with Katherine about her work.
All Things Considered VI – National Basketry Organization Juried Exhibit at the Fuller Craft Museum: Brockton, Massachusetts, July 30-December 12, 2011. This biennial exhibit highlights the diversity of contemporary and traditional basketry in the US. There will be 48 invitational pieces and 37 pieces juried by Bruce Pepich and Ann McMullen. Katherine is excited to have her piece ‘Nana Queen’ juried into the show. There will a catalog of the exhibit published by the NBO.
Festival of Family Farms at Gordon Skagit Farms: October 1-2, 2011. 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.
Art’s Alive! 2011: Maple Hall, La Conner, WA, November 4-6, 2011. Katherine has been invited to participate in the “Emerging Artists” Exhibit this year. She will have several pieces on display for sale. The opening will be Friday, Nov. 4, 6-9pm. There is a wonderful selection of artists in the invitational and emerging artists’ shows. There will be many artists exhibiting and demonstrating around town that weekend. Katherine will be doing a demo at the Skagit Historical Museum. One of the pieces that Katherine has created for the exhibit is ‘thirteen branches’.
Katherine’s trip to Europe
Swiatovy Festiwal Wikliny – The World Festival of Wicker and Wickerwork: Nowy Tomysl, Poland, August 26-28, 2011. Katherine was invited to attend this biennial event in Poland. There will be basketmakers from about 30 countries participating in the event with competitions, demonstrations, parades and more. This area is a large producer of willow, so it will be of a particular interest to Katherine and her basketry work.
Katherine has used the invitation to the festival in Poland as a motivation to organize a trip to Europe to study willow basketry. She will be leaving in August for six weeks to visit France, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Netherlands, and Germany. Stops will include three major basketry festivals: the Fête de la Vannerie in Vallabrègues, France, the World Festival of Wicker in Nowy Tomysl, Poland, and the Korbmarkt in Lichtenfels, Germany; as well as visits to several museums and basketmakers’ studios including one of her early mentors Werner Turtschi. Katherine has also arranged to study with David Drew in Villaines-les-Rochers in the Loire Valley of France for several days. She met David when she was in Villaines in 2006 taking a class at the Cooperative de Vannerie. She is excited to go back and get a chance to work with such an outstanding willow basketmaker. Katherine will be posting photos and comments during her trip on the Dunbar Gardens Facebook page.
Willow Basketmaking Classes with Katherine Lewis
Due to Katherine’s trip to Europe and her busy schedule of basketmaking, the next class here in Mount Vernon will be December 3 & 4. This will be a two day class with a focus on small projects. Several people have expressed interest in weaving small baskets for gifts. More details will be posted on our website later in the year. The class will be the usual two days, 9am-5pm, limit 10 people, $175, at the McLean Road Fire Hall.
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: Scottish 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 – email@example.com.
Farmstand: Despite the cool weather we have been experiencing, the farmstand is open with a variety of produce fresh from our garden every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You can find details on the website. Come out and enjoy the produce this year because Steve is thinking he needs to start making baskets so that he doesn’t miss out on the next trip to Europe!
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.
Katherine & Steve
Katherine made this pair of bicycle panniers last November. They were a custom order for Ben Ferencz at Freeman Transport, who hand build bikes in Missoula, Montana. Ben wanted a pair of willow baskets for a tandem bike.
Ben sent us a Freeman rack so that Katherine could figure out attachment using willow and leather straps.
They also wanted these to be picnic baskets, so Katherine added a removable cutting board on the inside of one lid. The lids are held on by a leather strap and buckle on each end.
Here’s what the basket panniers looked like on an old bike we have with the Freeman rack tied on. They looked great even on this old beater, but it was going to be a pleasure to see them on a hand built tandem.
We knew the baskets were going to be mounted on a special tandem that Freeman was building, but we didn’t know who the actual customer was. Ben had briefly mentioned the name Mistress. We had no idea that Mistress was a “creative agency” in Venice, CA. It was kind of amusing to come across this video and see Katherine’s baskets riding around the streets of LA.
The next short video shows the tandem bicycle being made. There are some good shots of the baskets again near the end. The tandem bike is apparently now for sale as The Mistress.