Lanny Bergner

Beyond the Basket

Lanny Bergner Celestial Vessel #7Celestial Vessel #7, 2013
Stainless steel mesh, silicone, leather cord: 60″ x 16″ x 16″
Lent by Snyderman-Works Galleries

Lanny Bergner is a mixed-media sculptor, installation artist, and sculptural basket maker who began creating ethereal biomorphic and geometric constructions out of metal mesh in 1983. Using industrially woven bronze, brass, aluminum and stainless steel mesh, silicone, wire a glass frit, linesman pliers, and cutting shears, he employs simple joining techniques to transform mesh into semi-transparent organic structures and vessels, most recently adding a propane torch to “flame paint” abstract imagery onto sheets of stainless steel mesh. His work references plant biology, microorganisms, undersea creatures, earth geology, and cosmology, and is in the Seattle Art Museum; New York’s Museum of Art and Design; the Fuller Craft Museum, in Brockton, Massachusetts; and the Central Museum of Textile in Łódź, Poland. He is featured in Carol Russell’s 2011 survey of contemporary international fiber artists, Fiber Art Today.

Visit www.lannybergner.com for more information.

Jill Nordfors Clark

Basket as Vessel

Jill Nordfors Clark April SnowApril Snow, 2010
Hog casings, twigs, gesso, silk thread: 30.5″ x 19″ x 5″
Lent by the artist

Jill Clark uses hog gut in her basket construction the same way the natives of Canada and northern Alaska use seal and walrus gut (today only available to indigenous people) to make clothing and vessels. Having made needle lace for years, she incorporates traditional stitches to weave photographs, drawings, shells, and vintage lace into her baskets.

Visit www.americanartco.com/jill-nordfors-clark/ for more information.

Joe Feddersen

Living Traditions

Jo Feddersen Urban Indian Series Cell Tower And Freeway with HOV[Left] Urban Indian Series: Cell Tower, 2009
Waxed linen, cotton bias tape, cotton thread: 5.5″ x 3″ x 3″
Lent by Laura DeSimone and Bill Roulette

[Right] Urban Indian Series: Freeway with HOV, 2002
Waxed linen, cotton bias tape, cotton thread: 6″ x 4″ x 4″
Lent anonymously

Member of the Colville nation, Joe Feddersen began his artistic career as a printmaker and is now a sculptor, painter, photographer and mixed-media artist currently working with glass. He is known for creating artworks strong in geometric patterns reflective of what is seen in the environment, landscape and his heritage. He began making baskets in 2000, and has exhibited in museums and shows all over the U.S. since the 1980s. When not creating art or teaching, Feddersen also serves as a writer, curator, consultant and active member of the Colville Federated Tribal Arts and Humanities Board.

Visit www.Froelickgallery.com for more information.

Jan Hopkins

Beyond the Basket

Jan Hopkins Forbidden Front

Jan Hopkins Forbidden BackForbidden, 2010
Grapefruit and cantaloupe peel, yellow cedar bark, ostrich shell beads, waxed linen: 18″ x 15″ x 9″
Courtesy of David and Jacqueline Charak

Jan Hopkins was drawn to basketry by the Native American collection at the Heard Museum. She studied with Northwest Coast Native and Nationally recognized contemporary basketry artists. While investigating new materials, she developed processing techniques to preserve the beauty of alternative natural materials.

Narrative contemporary contemplations of identity and self-image are subjects woven into many of her pieces while using coiling and looping techniques almost exclusively. She is currently working with her husband Chris on a narrative World War II Japanese American Internment Project, a deeply personal part of her family history.

Visit janhopkinsart.blogspot.com for more information.

Katherine Lewis

Living Traditions

Katherine Lewis Rope CoilRope Coil, 2016
Willow: 7″ x 16″
Lent by the artist

On her farm in the Skagit Valley of the Pacific Northwest, Katherine Lewis cultivates a variety of willows for basketry with an eye to producing rich, natural colors. The preservation of willow as a raw material is central to her work. She uses hand tools and traditional stake and strand techniques that she learned in Europe to create functional and durable baskets. The Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum acquired several of her baskets in 2011 as part of the Cole Ware Collection.

Visit www.dunbargardens.com for more information.

Dorothy McGuinness

Beyond the Basket

Dorothy McGuinness SatelliteSatellite, 2012
Watercolor paper, acrylic paint, waxed linen thread: 12″ x 15″ x 12″
Lent by the artist

After 29 years of exploring the woven form, Dorothy McGuinness mastered the art of diagonal twill, with which she create forms and structures not usually found in the basketry world. Her medium for this unique work is watercolor paper, which she paints and cuts into precise, narrow, uniform strips to make multiple woven units, asymmetrical corners, weaving opposite corners together, making multiple-stepped corners in tandem that create intriguing forms encoded with energy and elegance.

She often thinks, “How will it work out if I try this, or how can I get this shape or pattern combination? What if I use these colors in this combination in this order? What if…?”

Visit www.dorothymcguinnessbasket.com for more information.

Marilyn Moore

Basket as Vessel

Marilyn Moore Balance

Marilyn Moore BalanceBalance, 2014
Copper wire, coated copper wire: 3.5″ x 9″ x 6″
Lent by the artist

Working in fibers since childhood, when she learned to embroider, knit, crochet, and sew, Marilyn Moore added spinning, weaving, and basketry to her repertoire over the years and is currently exploring color and form through wire baskets and jewelry. She teaches basketry at national conventions and conferences and has exhibited her work nationally and internationally in addition to publishing articles in the News Basket, Basket Bits, and Piecework. Her work has been featured in Shuttle, Spindle, Dyepot, Bead and Button, and Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry.

Visit www.marilynmooreswired.net for more information.

Polly Adams Sutton

Basket as Vessel

Polly Adams Sutton MerrillPolly Adams Sutton MerrillMerrill, 2007
Western red cedar bark, dyed ash, magnet wire: 11.5″ x 10″ x 9″
Lent by the artist

Polly Sutton began as a painter but transitioned to sculptural basketry over 30 years ago. Her primary material today is cedar bark that she collects and processes to bring to its most malleable form. “Rather than having a preconceived notion of a shape when I begin a piece,” she says, “I allow the materials to take their own form. The dampened cedar bark is flexible, and the finer cedar bark or magnet wire places confines upon it. As I twine and weave, my aim is to let my mind’s eye decide if the direction the piece is taking can be sculpturally manipulated. Over the period of time I spend twining, the asymmetrical qualities of my work reveal themselves. My intent is to see the work as sculpture, transcending the category of a basket.”

Visit www.pollyadamssutton.com for more information.

Lisa Telford

Beyond the Basket

Lisa Telford Summer Nights Do

Lisa Telford Evening Out

[Left] Summer’s Night Do, 2007
Pounded red cedar bark, cotton cord, vintage mother of pearl buttons, feathers: 26″ x 11″
Lent by Martin Wice

[Right] Evening Out, 2007
Red and yellow cedar bark: 5.5″ x 3.12″ x 8″
Lent by Martin Wice

Haida tribal member Lisa Telford was born in Alaska but spent much of her childhood in Indiana. Though she stayed connected to her native home, she learned traditional Haida basket weaving at the age of 35 from her aunt, Delores Churchill, and returned to Indianapolis’s Eiteljorg Museum as an artist in residence in 1999. Now living in the Pacific Northwest, she harvests cedar fiber to create meticulously crafted fiber sculptures.


Cultural Origins

Spruce root (RRR.63 A&B)
Lent by the University of Missouri Museum of Anthropology
1.6″ x 2.8″

Berry Basket

Cultural Origins

c. 1900
Spruce root, bear grass, silk thread (RRR.80)
Lent by Lois Russell
6″ x 8″ x 8″

Rattle-top basket

Cultural Origins

c. 1875
Spruce root, bear grass (RRR.90 A&B)
Lent by Lois Russell
3.5″ x 5″ x 5″


Cultural Origins

c. 1900
Tule stems (RRR.56)
Lent by the University of Missouri Museum of Anthropology
5″ x 16″ x 5″