Baskets

Baskets have always seemed magical to me.  Fortunately, about 15 years ago, I was able to start taking classes and that magical, mysterious world opened up for me. I love knowing how much more there is to learn, and I just love the feel of a basket emerging within my hands.

I’m particularly drawn to seagrass, waxed linen, yarn, wire,  and beads, and I love combining them along with other materials to create twined and coiled baskets of many different styles and sizes.  The variations are endless.

Over the years, one of my mainstays has been seagrass baskets which are loosely based on traditional work from the Chehalis tribe in the Pacific Northwest.  They were called Crazy Lady Baskets because the frayed seagrass was like wild hair.  While I don’t make that traditional basket anymore, I still fray the ends of seagrass and try to keep the spirit of the original alive in my work. 

For me, baskets are incredibly satisfying to create, and actually make me feel quite grounded and close to the earth.  That’s why I now describe all of them as Not-So-Crazy Lady Baskets.

Also see the Amulet section for my explorations with small alcohol ink paintings in combination with small baskets.

The Four Seasons

When the pandemic entered our lives in March of 2020, like so many others, I stayed home.  I nested!  I decided to create a series of baskets representing the four seasons, each one completed within the timeframe of the season it represented. 

The Spring Nest has three “eggs” in it.  One pretty much closed, one with the “baby” just starting to emerge, and one with the “baby” fully outside of its shell and into the world.  The nest is woven with a fake fur yarn and symbolizes the warmth and security that seemed to have been taken away from all of us.

The Summer Nest has the bright warm colors of the season, but the wire randomly encircling the outside is a reminder that the virus was (and is) still in full force and that I wasn’t truly free.  The “egg” has been replaced with a “baby” trying to make it out of the basket, but without the legs to get out.

The Fall Nest is empty and feeling a little rough.  Time to snuggle in and feather it in preparation for the long haul and the cold damp weather of winter in the Northwest.  I’m feeling a bit forlorn, a bit lost and the basket shows the need for comfort and the protection of a cozy nest.

The Winter Nest has a sense of coolness with all the wire and the air that circulates inside and outside of it.  It’s strong yet flexible and porous.  Embedded within each wire ball is a shiny hopeful crystal.  And while all the other wire is either silver, black or rust-colored, there is a beautiful golden orb right in the center of the basket.  A reminder to me to stay positive no matter what. Here are the four nests:

More Baskets

Contact Me

Most of the work is for sale. Please contact me at susanb452@gmail.com for prices, for more information, or to see more of my work.