Sunday, February 26, 2012

Engaging with creative spirits

Chocolate chic bowl from SquareCircleWorks

I don't often write about baskets, even though baskets are always on my mind.  I dream of color combinations, patterns, textures, and shapes.  I muse on what would give a basket that little pop - a button, a bead, a bit of ribbon.  Of course, going from my dream world to reality is a challenge.  So many other things need to be done!

How do we get from the dream to the reality?
What motivates and inspires us to move from the wondering to the doing?

We engage with those creative spirits that surround us!

Etsy is the perfect place for engaging with artists and crafters.  We can browse among their shops and witness creativity unfolding.  We can build treasuries to celebrate the unique expressions we discover.  We can read blogs and learn what creative people are thinking.

Here are several basket and bag makers who motivate me.  With their permission, I am sharing some of their work.

Sally - an innovative fiber artist from Arcadia, Michigan - makes baskets and totes.  I particularly love her tote bags made from marine rope.  They are sturdy and stylish, and always have a little embellishment to give an extra zip.

Coiled marine rope tote from SallyManke

Blue coiled rope tote from SallyManke

Diane - from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - makes coiled baskets in all shapes and sizes.  She has a special gift for adding pleasing details - flat and round handles, buttons, tassels, and swirls.

Fabric coiled basket in greens/blues/red from DMcGettigan

Extra-large fabric coiled basket from DMcGettigan

Jennie is from Manassas, Virginia.  I love how she has applied the crochet technique to basket and bowl making.  She often uses upcycled materials in her work.

Upcycled sheet bowl by sosorosey

Nested cotton string utility bowls by sosorosey

Flavia is a transplanted Italian living in Mooresville, North Carolina.  Her baskets sing!  She uses recycled materials - mostly paper - to coil fantastic creations.  The process is time-consuming, but the result is spectacular.

GOING IN CIRCLES coiled paper basket from Artesa

ABI - Coiled medium size basket from Artesa

Nancy, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, is experimenting with shapes, textures, and colors.  Her pieces are unique, and I can't wait to see how her works evolves.

City night from BluKangarooCreations

Sundried tomatoes from BluKangarooCreations

I am curious.  Where do you find your inspiration?


  1. Thanks for the basket-y ideas! :)

  2. Delighted to be included with this delightful group of basket makers. Love your work, Valerie!

  3. Sally announced that she had been featured on your blog- how wonderful! She is a member of TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List. We would love to have you join us as well. We are looking for more basket makers. Here is the membership info page:

  4. Thank you so much for sharing my work on your blog. You are not only a talented woman, but a kind and generous one as well :)

  5. Love your blog and that you are so willing to share and uplift other artists - how generous of you ;-)

    My Best to You and Yours,
    Deb Lindley

    PS...Sally's baskets look fantastic!

  6. Thanks for your comments, Everyone. I am happy to celebrate such creative expressions. @Rayela Art, many thanks for the invite to TAFA. I will check in out.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!