Monday, July 30, 2007
Baskets are one way my fondness for beautiful storage and supporting independent craftspeople can come together. Here are just a few I've come across. And since I have readers around the world, this quick basket tour will go to various countries.
The picture above is the New Zealand showroom of Heather Shaw, who makes willow baskets.
The Cooperative Vannerie de Villaines (site in French and English) has a wide range of willow baskets, some intended for professional use, such as these produce baskets.
Joe Hogan makes Irish willow baskets to order.
David Hembrow of Cambridge makes English willow baskets. This is a linen basket for dirty laundry.
Julie Gurr's willow baskets are made on the Isle of Arran off the West Coast of Scotland. She says this one is a pilgrim basket, used by the ancients to keep the severed heads of the invading Saxons nice and fresh before boiling up, eating, then impaling on stakes. Price: 2 Turnips and a half bag of goat dung. (Her other baskets are not described so fancifully, and show more traditional prices.)
Coming back to the USA, and moving beyond willow baskets, we have black ash baskets made by Fran. Some of them, like the one above, have a wooden bottom.
Jonathan Kline also makes lovely black ash baskets, with both painted (as shown) and natural finishes.
And then there are the Nantucket Baskets. The one above is from Nantucket Basket Works, but there are lovely options from many sources, including All Tucker'd Out and Simply Nantucket Baskets.
Sharon Dugan makes stunning baskets from the trees of New England.
And for something totally different - women of the Wounaan and Emberá tribes make amazing baskets from the fibers of the nahuala plant and chunga palm which grow the Darién Rainforest of Panamá.
To explore further, you might check out the extensive resources on the Basketmakers web site.