Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.
Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014
Learn to make a whole shoot basket, tray, or sculptural piece using open twining techniques employed by tribal weavers around the world in fish traps, weirs, cradle boards, winnowing and sifting baskets and burden baskets. We will view local plant materials suitable for our project and review their significance, cultivation and processing for basket weaving. Basic cordage making will be included in the instruction.
The materials kit provided for this class includes primarily home grown, cultivated basket willows. Wild gathered shoots and orchard cuttings may also be included for variation in color and texture. These materials have all been carefully selected, cut, washed and sorted in advance for kits by the instructor. Pre-cut and individually bundled commercial plant cordage is also included in the kit.
Instructor Carol Grant Hart, author of Natural Basketry (which will be available for purchase during the workshop) and articles for Threads Magazine on Pine Needle and Willow Basketry. Carol received a grant from Connecticut Commission on the Arts to explore wild and garden plant materials for basketry, was a curator of five museum exhibits on Baskets from Around the World, and has taught and made baskets for over 40 years.
More about Carol
I began making baskets in 1971 while working at an outdoor education center in New Milford, Connecticut. My first efforts in basketry began with splints but soon expanded to coiled, twined, wicker, melon and diagonal plaiting techniques using local materials which were suitable for each. To learn techniques I studied baskets and then tried to weave. Other help came from books, a splint basketmaker and several Indian Basketmakers. Most of my learning was the result of observation, trial and error and exploration of wild materials which might work in the various techniques I had worked out.
Basketry involves me with my surroundings. I have a sense of full involvement in each step of the process, from seeking out the plant material and preparing it for weaving, to fashioning the final product. I have felt successful when I have made something which is original, pleasing to look at, and useful. I find myself slipping to pure woven sculpture in some cases and with some materials, a purpose beyond practical usefulness seems to be emerging. These pieces have become personal symbols.
The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,