My work in sculptural basketry has been growing and evolving since 2002, when I first learned the coiling technique from Linda Pietz, a pine needle basketry artist from the West Coast. After taking my first pine needle class I fell in love with the coiling process.
I am not only a basketry artist but also a felt maker. I have been felting since my college years at Southern Illinois University where I majored in Fibers. I have been incorporating my felt work into my coiled basketry for several years now marrying my two mediums of choice.
My current series of work “Spirit Cradles”, comes out of a place of nurturing thoughts, both of nurturing as a mother but also nurturing the land and Spirit of the land that we inhabit. This series of sculptures delves into a bond that comes from traditions of American Indian peoples. The Lakota tribe were a hunting people who believed that a spiritual landscape exists within the physical landscape. Occasionally we see something fleeting in the land, when line, color, and movement intensify and something sacred is revealed, leading one to believe that there is another realm of reality corresponding to the physical one but different. In nature we live, and move, and have our being. When I am creating these “cradles” I consider my materials as sacred, created by a loving God, and I respect them because they have their own life and power. The “cradles” are first formed with felted antlers. I am working the wool from the sheep onto the antler that has been given and received thankfully. I then create felted balls and felted medallions in the piece as a soft place for the spirit to land. The pine needles create a strong basketry cradle structure to hold firm the spirits that lie there.
My greatest joy is in touching these natural materials (pine needles, wool, antlers) that have been given by the land and animals, and altering them with color to create beautiful, flowing works that are reminiscent of the land from which they have come and bring glory to the God who created them. I hope to convey with my work a sense of loving kindness in the cradles that are strong but tender in there flow and curves, strength and softness.