One morning in November we received an email from Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. Since it was the 20th anniversary of the magazine, the style editors were creating a photo montage of anniversary gifts for the Winter 2015 issue. They wanted an image of a Katherine Lewis willow basket for the 9th anniversary gift of willow. Of course their deadline was the next day!
They had pulled some photos of fruit baskets and trivets off our website as examples. What they needed were high resolution images. I started browsing photos, picking out possibilities and adding them to a dropbox folder. I picked out some additional baskets that might make good ninth anniversary gifts like Irish potato baskets, flower gathering basket and some lovely arm baskets.
The magazine’s art team gave me a thumbs down on my images and wanted to shoot them in-house. Well by now it was close to 5 in New York, and a little late for the assistant style editor to get approval for giving me access to their shipping account. We were easily persuaded to overnight ship at our expense and invoice them later for the cost. Didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity! We packed up a couple of Irish skibs and a couple of trivets that Colleen requested. We took a big gulp when we saw the express overnight shipping price to New York. But hey, ‘Martha’ will be good for it later, right?
So the baskets arrived the next morning and were photographed by the magazine’s pros. Details confirmed in the afternoon and a Katherine Lewis willow trivet was in the photo spread. “Will they be available for sale starting December 22?” Katherine made plans to weave some trivets!
photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings
The magazine was released at the end of December, and they eventually posted an on-line gallery of the 20 gifts. How fun! When we shared the link to our Dunbar Gardens Facebook page, people were quick to comment that we were going to get slammed with orders. What orders? No rush for trivets so far. We have had many 9th anniversary gift buyers over the years. However most of them have been men buying something willow for women, or occasionally another man. So we had to ponder how many men are looking at Martha Stewart Weddings magazine? Probably not enough!
Thanks to Colleen Banks and Martha Stewart Weddings! You can view more suggestions for willow baskets to gift on the ninth anniversary here on one of our Pinterest boards.
Katherine Lewis willow baskets at the Rexville Grange Art Show
The Rexville Grange Art Show is an arts and crafts show held twice each year in the Skagit Valley. The show features some outstanding artisans working in wood, weaving, glass, pottery, painting, photography and jewelry. This year the November edition of the show is extended to two weekends – Nov. 14-16 and Nov. 22-23. The Grange Hall is located at 19299 Rexville Grange Road, just off Best Road a block from the Rexville Grocery.
The opening was Friday evening November 14 with live music and refreshments. Campbell Road provided some lively Celtic tunes while folks mingled, met the artists and shopped. You can find images and website links to all the local artists on the show’s website here.
Katherine Lewis, willow basketmaker
Katherine had a fun time chatting with customers and friends. It is always gratifying to not only sell some work, but also hear the appreciative comments. Although she sold several of her willow baskets at the opening, there are still quite a few willow baskets for the coming weekend. Below is a gallery of some of the Katherine Lewis willow baskets available at the art show. Can’t make it to the show this weekend? You can always check our website to see the baskets in stock page or the willow basket gallery for info on what you can order.
Katherine was honored to have three of her baskets chosen for the 19th Juried Art Show at the Schack Art Center in Everett, WA. The show opened on June 19 and will end August 2. It is a biennial exhibit of Northwest artists in a wide variety of mediums. This year’s jurors were Jan Hopkins, Ken Rowe and Joan Pinney. You can view the complete list of artists and images of the work on the Schack website.
There are two basket makers in the show with Dorothy McGuinness in addition to Katherine. One of Dorothy’s pieces “Threshold” was awarded Second Place in 3D works. Katherine received an Honorable Mention for her basket “Pi(e)” seen in the image above. Of course, anyone involved with basketry or fiber arts will recognize the name of juror Jan Hopkins. It definitely adds to the honor of having work chosen for the show.
Katherine appreciates the opportunity to display her baskets in an art venue like the Schack. Since her work emphasizes the functional element, it is not often she gets her work juried into exhibits.
Katherine works almost exclusively with willow, but occasionally she experiments with other materials. The third basket in the show titled “Slingshot” has rubber strips used in the side weavers along with the willow base, stakes, border and handle. She uses a zig zag weave with the strips doubled up to get a different look inside and out.
We hope people have a chance to see the exhibit before it closes. Thanks again to the jurors, gallery director Carrie Collver and all the staff at the Schack.
One of the more impressive willow baskets that Katherine weaves is the bassinet. These are sometimes called Moses baskets. There is real satisfaction in weaving a basket that will hold someone’s child and become an integral part of their family life. Here are a few images of some willow bassinets made by Katherine Lewis.