Summer 2012 Newsletter

Two Rufous Hummingbirds by Steve Lospalluto


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: 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.

Upcoming Events

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.

willow bark pouch by Katherine Lewis

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.

Crazy Quilt by Katherine Lewis

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.

willow gathering basket by Katherine LewisAugust 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.
scallomed baskets by Katherine LewisSeptember 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.

willow tension tray by Katherine Lewis

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.

willow laundry basket by Katherine Lewis

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



Tidal Twinings 2010 brochure

Tidal Twinings 2010 brochure

The Tidal Twinings 2010 Fall Basketry Retreat brochure came in the mail this past week. There is a photo of Katherine’s zig-zag weave shopper class from the 2009 retreat on the cover. This annual event is sponsored by the Columbia Basin Basketry Guild and happens in a nice ocean front location in Rockaway Beach, Oregon. Katherine has been invited to teach two classes this year.

bicycle basket

The first one is a willow bicycle basket on the Thursday and Friday. This basket is for the front handle bars of a bike. It’s designed with quick release attach straps. There will be some choice on the side weaves to personalize your basket.

berry picking basket

The second class on Saturday is a small berry picking basket. This project is a great beginning willow basket.

There is a nice group of teachers scheduled for this event with a diverse selection of weaving projects. Teachers include Donna Kallner, Kathey Ervin, Lanny Bergner, Deb Curtis, Sheila Tasker, Margaret Mathewson, Kay Harradine, and more. Eventually the registration form will be posted on the CBBG website, but you can get more info from Marge Meyer by email: marjoriemeyer54(at)


Willow basketry class schedule

Katherine lewis, willow basketry teacher

We have posted a new schedule of willow basket making classes by Katherine Lewis for the first half of 2010. You can view all the info on the basket classes page on the Dunbar Gardens website. She is offering a variety of baskets and techniques, as well as trying to accommodate weavers with different levels of willow experience in most classes.

  • February 27-28: Scallomed projects – oval shopper, magazine basket, square shopper
  • April 10-11: Stake and strand projects – round gathering basket, oval shopper, oval garden basket
  • May 1-2: Irish potato basket and fruit basket
  • June 26-27: stake and strand projects – gathering basket, round laundry with roped handles, oval laundry
  • mid August (specific dates to be announced): repeat of scallomed class from February

Katherine is also organizing an in depth four day class for July. This class will be for a smaller number of weavers looking for a more extensive experience. Possible projects will include square work and fitching. Some students have been asking for more in depth work with Katherine, and this will be the chance. People interested can contact Katherine for more details. (Need I say weavers with the necessary hand strength to go four days?)

fitched willow basket by Katherine Lewis

We have also listed a couple of classes that she is teaching in other locations. She is offering an “Intro to fitching class” at the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild Spring Retreat March 25-26. The project is a lovely oval market basket. Katherine will also be traveling to Portland, Oregon May 20-24 to give a presentation and class to members of the Columbia Basin Basketry Guild.

Visit our website for more details, registration form, and photos of the baskets and past classes.


Tidal Twinings 2009

zig zag weave willow shopper

zig zag weave willow shopper

Katherine recently attended Tidal Twinings 2009, the annual Fall basketry retreat of the Columbia Basin Basketry Guild held in Lincoln City, Oregon. She taught two classes: a one day round fruit or bread basket and a two day zig zag weave willow shopper class. She says that the weavers seem to enjoy the classes and completed some nice baskets. What did she bring back for me? Photos to crop, tweak, and upload into a couple of photo albums which you can view by following the links below.

Tidal Twinings 2009 Zig Zag Willow Shopper class
Tidal Twinings 2009 Willow Fruit Basket class