I am a basketmaker and work on my farm in the Skagit Valley where I grow selected varieties of basketry willow. Although willow is a common basketry material throughout the world, I am one of a few who are actively growing and crafting their own willow in the United States. Growing my materials enables me to choose from an array of natural colors and weaving qualities. The willow withies are harvested annually, and I am continually inspired by the varying colors and textures of each year’s harvest. It is a pleasure to choose the right basket to weave from each bundle of willow.
I weave baskets from these willows using traditional European stake and strand basketry techniques. I have traveled several times to the UK and France to tutor with basketmakers, study the basketmaking traditions, explore the willow growing areas, and collect new varieties to plant for my work. I have studied with accomplished basketmakers from England, Switzerland, France, and Scotland; including Adrian Charlton, Jenny Crisp, Sally Goymer, Werner Turtschi, Norbert Faure, Alastair Heseltine, Mary Butcher, and Lise Bech. I have collected baskets made by many of these basketmakers, and also have baskets I have made while learning from them which bring back the experience. I treasure all of these, and surround myself with them for the inspiration which they bring to my work on a daily basis.