Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Basket Collection

(click to enlarge)
Whenever I think I have too many baskets or that my house is being over run, I just have to visit my parents and it puts everything into perspective. My parents have been collection antiques since before they were married. My great grandmother was an antique dealer (I have some pieces from her) and my father grew up with the bug. Before I ever even got into basket weaving we always had a few around the house. You can see one of those baskets in the photo, it is the large round baskets on the third beam from the front and the fourth over from the left. Anyway, once I got interested in basketry back in 1984 when I was still in college, the collection started. The baskets in this photo only represent part of what is even in the room, there are probably about 100 baskets alone just in this one space. There are just as many scattered throughout the rest of the house as well.

It is very inspirational just being in the space. I used to weave many of my first baskets right underneath all of the ones in the photo. I used many of these basket as models that I tried to duplicate as best I could with the materials I had (e.g. reed). I learn so much from studying these old baskets. While I learned from a few basic classes I used that knowledge to explore many different styles and different shapes. I always challenge my students to do the same thing. Why limit yourself to just the one basket you learned in class or have the pattern for when the whole world of basketry is out there for you to try. You already know more than you think. I can guarantee you that 90% of the baskets in this photo you already know how to weave, you just need to put together the pieces you know in different combinations.

Now just to make you feel bad, my mom and dad take those baskets down at least every 2 or 3 months and dust/vacuum each one. Remember this is only a portion of their collection. I just tell people that come to my house if they look at a basket they have to promise to put it back in the same spot otherwise you will see the dust ring!