As an artist, one of my art forms is basketry, and it is not traditional basketry. Baskets with Attitude is a series of non-functional vessels that I have invented. This series had its birth in the crafts classroom of a high school. I was teaching a basket making series in my crafts class. At the time, I had some very challenging students. The baskets they created with reeds were not very rewarding. I felt that something had to be done to make the basket lesson fruitful. I decided to add legs to the baskets with paper pulp, in hopes, that it would unify the basket confusion the students had created. After the legs were added, the students spray painted the vessel sculptures and embellished them with feathers and paint. The basket making experience finally became a success.
Afterward, I decided to make these baskets myself. On and off for about 20 years I have been creating these types of vessels. I call them Baskets with Attitude. They have changed over the years. They change as I do. Art reflects who we are, and how we see things. It seems as though of all the art forms I create, my Baskets with Attitude seems to reflect me the most.
When I first created them it was with reed and gut. Now I am making them with gourds and driftwood. I grow the gourds locally on our land. The gourds are used as the vessel shape. I find the driftwood on the beach where I live during my hour long beach walks on the shores of Lake Erie. I use the driftwood to make the legs of the vessels, which are attached with paper pulp.
I was a paper artist in the past. I use that paper for the surfaces my baskets. My husband is a fly fisherman. I use his feathers to further embellish the edges of the gourds. I tear apart the silk flowers my mother gave me and use them as embellishment. It seems as though every time I look around my studio, I see something to use in my vessels. I see something and say, “Why not try it on my baskets?”
My Baskets with Attitude are collectables with their own personalities and special names. They are whimsical, fun, animated, colorful and textural. They are like all of my special friends in my life, happy and full of attitude. I hope they brig a smile to your face.
Information and more Baskets with Attitude at Christine French – Etsy