I began my fibers and textiles career in the 1960s when I started making macrame wall hangings, and my studies led to a Master of Fine Arts degree in weaving and fabric design from the University of North Texas. Having worked in fiber for many decades, I have created loom-woven tapestries, off-loom woven sculptures, and my work now focuses upon basketry forms and materials.
My basketry work emphasizes traditional techniques of weaving, coiling, twining, knotting, and wrapping to create contemporary works which stretch the boundaries of that which the materials will allow.
Although traditional baskets are usually strictly functional, my work is also narrative. Currently I am exploring two directions:
My palette series utilizes the format of the historical American tobacco basket, a large square
shallow hardwood basket which was used to display tobacco leaves to prospective customers. Using this format, I illustrate the forces of nature, personal narratives, and the dilemmas of humankind. I like to think of these works as ‘painting with reed’—translating the colors and design of painting into the basketry format. I use the random weave technique, sometimes to create movement and other times to illustrate chaos.
My three-dimensional fish trap series is based upon indigenous fish, crab, eel, and lobster traps which were traditionally made of bamboo and rope. I incorporate the concepts of trapping, captivity, isolation, censorship and imprisonment to illustrate current human conditions and events. The incorporation of recycled objects and materials illustrates the extent of waste produced by humankind but also and more importantly, how recyclables may be used to create works that are playful and have personal meaning.