In the springtime, when the woods are once again awakening, the rivers are running high with snow melt-off, and the sap is rising in the cedar trees, I experience an inclination, handed down to me by my ancestors, to go gathering. I clean, bundle and do my own ‘putting up’ of product (barks, grasses, sedges and rushes) for the year ahead. This inclination could be explained by all the stories I grew up with about the hunting and fishing and ‘putting up’ of wild meats, fruits, nuts and berries my ancestors did for subsistence. Soetsu Yanagi – founder of the Japanese folk movement said,
“The world in which we live contributes to our success – abundant natural resources, a long tradition, repetition of effort and the fact that articles were being made for daily use all combined to assist…”
My baskets reflect the bond I have with the Pacific Northwest. It is the source from which all of my materials come, including the inspiration I derive from the strength of its visual impact and integrity of its natural resources. My background in ceramics (MFA Ceramics – University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, 1983) has had a strong impact on my basketry work in that it strengthened my understanding of what vessels represent to me in the figurative, architectural and emotional sense.
Contact information and more about Kathey Ervin at her website: The Basketry Studio