I view weaving as a craft that can be intimately intertwined with tending land and ecosystems. Most of my baskets are made with wild and cultivated basketry willow. Willow is a keystone species that cleans our waterways and supports hundreds of types of insects and animals. Rather than harming the willow, harvesting rods for basketry can be a form of tending the plant. Knowledgeably cutting the willow back helps protect the plant against disease, encourages root growth, and inspires the plant to send up even more rods for wildlife during its growing season.
I also incorporate non-native “invasive” species into my basketry efforts from plants I remove during stewardship efforts. I respectfully remove the plants and replace them with native species better suited to support our ecosystem. I then reverently prepare and incorporate these removed plants into my basketry work. Common buckthorn and young bittersweet are my current favorites in basketry and I’m experimenting with new ways to work with honeysuckle and phragmites.
Liners, cordage, leather, or other materials incorporated into my basketry are always chosen in consideration of the living world. I source materials locally whenever possible and deeply consider the practices of any suppliers that I work with. At its roots, basketry is a place-based practice that weaves people into their environment.
Click the category of basket that you are interested in to learn more: