Monday, March 29, 2010

More Beautiful Baskets by Shatoma

These baskets were made by Shirley Thomason (Shatoma,) using pottery bases from my etsy shop,

Shirley is a prolific coiler, and i love seeing her work!

If you would like me to publish photos of baskets you have made with pottery bases you purchased from me, please email them to me! To see more baskets made with pottery bases from my shop, click on the label "pottery base" at the bottom of this post!


Exhibition: Fantastic Fibers at the Yeiser Art Center

I am honored to again be included in Fantastic Fibers exhibition at The Yeiser Art Center. This is my second year. Two of my pieces will be shown in this juried, competitive exhibition, "Naturally Endowed,"

and "Dressed for Success."

I hope you may have the opportunity to attend the exhibition, or even the Artist's Reception which is this Friday (April 3, my birthday) from 5 - 7 pm.

For more information, please see my Facebook FanPage, or the Yeiser's website.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Alchemy: Visit from a Meerkat!?!

A few weeks ago, a unique visitor arrived....Alchemy, a little knitted meerkat from the UK! Alchemy has been traveling as a part of the Meerkat World Tour, from NiftyKnits on etsy, and I was honored to have her in my home!

Alchemy came to learn to make a horsehair basket, so we jumped right in. Here is how you careful of the nose, please!
So, after studying for awhile, Alchemy takes a stab at doing it her (him?) self!

Ouch! Oh no! Alchemy has sewn the meerkat paw to the basket! Don't worry, though, it doesn't hurt too much. Pamela does this all the time when she makes these tiny, tiny pieces.

The basket is all finished, and Alchemy is eager to take it along on the World Tour. So we have found a cell phone lanyard that will make a perfect meerkat-sized necklace! Doesn't Alchemy look great!????

Thanks so much for visiting, here are Pamela and Alchemy with their matching necklaces! Get your own meerkat sized horsehair basket necklace, cell phone lanyard or zipper pull at . Tiny meerkat sized baskets (to sit in a shadowbox, dollhouse or other miniature format, not to wear) can be found in Pamela's other shop at

Look for other adventures from Meerkats on NiftyKnits blog. Thanks for sending Alchemy along, it was fun!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Back from Convention!

Wow, it always takes me weeks to get ready for convention, and then weeks to recover, as well! What fun it was! I did not take enough pictures! I never got photos in the Exhibit Room, i am sorry to you will have to wait for the "official" photos on the NCBA website...coming soon (I hope.)

One of the things that really made this a wonderful convention was seeing Vladimir Yarish again...about every four years, he will make it to NCBA from Novgarod, Russia, where he lives. Vladimir makes the most wonderful birch bark and spruce root baskets, harvesting the materials himself from the woods in Russia. This year, Vladimir was the recipient of the Extraordinary Natural Basketmaker award, sponsored by the Natural Fibers Group! That's the big ribbon (and the basket that won it) in his left hand. Congratulations, Vladimir! His work shown in Exhibit this year ranged from huge art pieces to tiny 1" woven animal figures. Wow!

This year, I only taught one class (thank you to all the wonderful weavers who took it!) And so there was time for me to take classes as well! Joy! I took two willow classes (my very first willow classes,) one with Sandy Whalen, and another with Bonnie Gale. What marvelous teachers they are! That is the basket I made in Sandy's class, at right. I was very happy with all the different techniques used, I learned some interesting ways to do French Randing, and a lovely wrapped handle. Most impressive was Sandy's amazingly organized willow bundles, sorted by colored rubber bands, with color-coded instructions! It must have taken forever to prepare for class (with all her home grown willow!) The material was beautiful! I am using this little basket to carry my pottery projects back and forth to the studio.

The second willow basket I made was a traditional Scaithog, or Irish Potato Basket. Bonnie tells us this is a traditional basket made with green materials, and used for straining and serving boiled potatoes! Wonderful! It was a relaxing and fun class for sure. Bonnie made sure to bring a variety of willow types for us to try and we all made stripey baskets, which served also make them more individually unique. Here is a photo of me weaving, and one of Bonnie and me with the finished project. Bonnie is another amazing person, she has so much education and does so many things other than weaving, including landscape design. It was so fun listening to her talk!

I love my willow baskets, and am looking forward to learning the techniques i learned when i weave with naturals here at home!

I also had a chance to take a flat reed class with Venie Henson...not my normal cup of tea. But Venie has so many wonderful new ideas, and uses such great color in her baskets, i just knew i would find many things to inspire me in taking her class. I was right!

Venie has a degree in fiber arts, as a weaver, and so loves color and techniques. The basket i made in her class will be my new Easter Basket, don't you think? If you were in the class, you might see the little "twists" and one big mistake I made...but most of you will not notice them. It is so fun to do things that are different from what we normally do!

The last class i took was with Peggie Wilcox, it was bullrush over cedar, with just a touch of maidenhair fern. I love these materials, they are so wonderfully pliant. My basket came out very different from everyone else's because of course i changed it...So much fun!

Teacher's Market was a little slow for me this year, though i had a full table. What do you think? Should i thin things out for next year? Thanks to Nancy, Linda and Carol, who helped me set up! In this photo, I am also wearing the little smock given by the Coordinator to those who helped with convention, thanks Jeanette!

Watch the NCBA website for more photos of convention, including exhibit room photos!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Final Pack

NCBA Convention, here i come! Oh. It is not until next Thursday, March 11...but i am in a packing tizzy!

oooohhhh got some new pottery bases for Teacher's Marketplace!

Also am finally offering horsehair kits (these have been requested in the past, but i have never sold them at NCBA,)

as well as my standard horsehair baskets

and wearables,

introducing cell phone charms/zipper pulls that are horsehair baskets!

Other new items are my Needle Grabber Duo and thumb Grabbers

as well As Beach Treasure Pouches

I hope to see you there - don't miss Teacher's Marketplace!
It is Friday evening, from 8-10 in the big weaving room.
It is a crush, but settles down after a little while. If my table is crowded when you first come around, please come back, I would love to see you!