Basketry The Bridge

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The Story

The creation of this basket was inspired by my treasured friendship with Sarah Chapman. Though we have often been separated by miles and diverse activities, our love and respect for each other has kept us close in spirit.

Sarah recently returned from an extensive time commitment as part of a “Cross Culture” service team on from the school where she served as an assistant in the assignment in Ghana. She is pictured here with the children classroom.

Her gift to me from this faraway land was a bundle of thick fronds used by the native people to weave their shade awnings, as seen in this photo. I soaked the dense fibers and split them down into small strips, bundled together for this display. Because this material is coarse and sharp on the edges, I used hemp for the “coiling” process rather than the more fragile raffia used in my traditional pine needle baskets. The design for this woven vessel came to me in a dream, and the heavy, clay African beads were the perfect accent to complete this Bridge of Cultures and bring honor to the gift from my friend, Sarah (she has in her possession the first basket I made from these precious fronds, native to Ghana).

The basket before you represents my continued effort to garner respect for the old ways of basket making: gathering and preparing natural materials, being accepting of the “design dream”, and sharing the story the basket wants to tell.

Be Blessed –
In Ponderosa Country -
Judy Arledge