Barbara Shapiro in “The Color of Water”

NBO member Barbara Shapiro has had a piece selected for “The Color of Water,” an exhibit at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts in Sebastopol, California. Her work, Troubled Water is made of hexagonally plaited sedori cane globe that supports a swirl of soiled papers and cloth with a pool of debris inside the globe as well.  The exhibition opening  reception is February 11, 2 to 4 PM. The exhibit will run through March 26, 2023.  

More at Sebastopol Center for the Arts.

Elizabeth Runyon in “From Lausanne to Beijing”

Congratulations to NBO member Elizabeth Runyon, who has had 3 of her woven sculptures juried into the the 11th “From Lausanne to Beijing International Fiber Art Biennale”. Runyon was invited to submit three works in conjunction with this year’s theme, “Space–The Dimension of Fiber”.  Her artworks included were “Greed,” (shown above),”Gluttony” and “Dancing on Three Legs.” The exhibition is jointly hosted by the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University and the China National Arts and Crafts Society. Over 300 works of fiber art by artists from five continents are featured in this Biennale. The exhibition will be available for online viewing to audiences across the globe through Feb 16, 2023.

“With the pandemic spreading, no time in recent years has ever been as full of instability as the present. Lin Lecheng, head curator of the exhibition, said of this year’s Biennale: “Fortune rewarded artists’ passion, providing an opportunity to hold this exhibition in this challenging year and once again proving art’s indomitable vitality.” The Biennale pursues the intrinsic nature of fiber while also exploring a new format: The virtual exhibition. The virtual exhibition hall revolutionized the relationship between fiber and space, making it possible to experience art from anywhere in the world. By the “2.5D” virtual venue, audiences were provided with all-new perspectives and experiences.”



Polly Sutton and Gail Tremblay are SOLA Award Recipients

Congratulations to Polly Sutton and Gail Tremblay on their 2022 SOLA Awards!

Founded in 2016 by Seattle artist Ginny Ruffner, the SOLA Awards… Read More

Kadey Ambrose and Sarita Westrup Chosen for ACC Emerging Artists Cohort

Those familiar with NBO online programs and member exhibits will know the names of these two artists recently selected to be designated among the 2022 American Craft Council Emerging Artists Cohort.

“Through facilitated workshops, presentations, and conversations, these artists will gain a deeper understanding of the professional skills and opportunities that will help them diversify income streams and thrive in their chosen careers. Participating artists will connect with established industry leaders from a variety of craft sectors including gallerists, curators, marketplace artists, exhibiting artists, social practice artists, designers, and more. After the three-month program is complete, all participating artists will receive an incubator grant of $10,000 to help propel them to the next level of their profession.”

The Basket Weaver’s Basket Song

NBO member Sherri West sent along this wonderful story to share with the basketry community:

The Basket Weaver
by DeAnn Rasmussen
August 1, 2022

I learned to weave baskets in the early 1980’s, when I lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There were a lot of little stores in the area that sold a large variety of commercial basket weaving materials, and taught all manner of basket styles. It was a great learning experience. Shortly after that, I moved to a very small town in northwest Wisconsin that was surrounded by lakes and forest. Quite the change from the big city. There were no stores in the area that sold basket weaving materials, and no one teaching any classes. However, I still wanted to weave baskets, so I decided to see what I could find in the woods to use for baskets. It was quite the learning experience. Lots of trial and error. It took me a few years to figure out just which indigenous materials would actually work. I learned what season to gather things in, how to prepare and store them, and how to put them to the best use. Being self-taught in such a large undertaking, is daunting to say the least.

DeAnn Rasmussen, with some of her baskets.

I became known as the ‘basket lady’, and people would bring me things that they thought I might be able to use. One of the best things that someone brought me was a large popple log. My neighbor was cutting firewood, and thought the log might be some use to me. I cut the outer bark off with a draw knife, cut the cambium layer into strips, coiled them up to dry, and had beautiful flat reed to build several wonderful baskets. The worst thing anyone ever brought me was a road killed porcupine. I had been using quills for some of my baskets, so it seems like a good idea. However, it was a very hot summer day, and when I got home from work, the porkie was stinkin’ to high heaven. I shoveled it into a cardboard box, took it out to the woods for a decent burial, put down tobacco and wished it a safe journey to the spirit world.

Red Willow became one of my favorite materials to use. It was abundant, accessible, renewable, and beautiful to work with. One, day, some friends of mine who had friends that were expecting a baby, asked if I would make a red willow basket for the baby. I was thinking that they wanted a nice little basket to put on a shelf to hold baby powder and other little things. Oh no, they wanted a bassinet! I accepted the challenge, and gathered willow and wove on that basket for well over one week. As I worked, the essence of the willow entered into my very pores and became a part of me. It soon became a song in my heart and soul. When I finished making the basket, I wrote down the words that were in my heart, and “Basket Song” became something to remind me of the days, when the red willow became a part of me. It is not often that we create something that becomes a treasured memory. The red willow bassinet is one that I will always hold in my heart. I didn’t think to take a picture of it, and it was shipped to the couple at their home in Florida. I never even got to see the sweet baby in the basket. I can only hope that over time, the basket has held many babies, to cradle them in dreams, “of dancing stars, and singing streams.”

Basket Song

Listen closely, baby dear,
while spirits whisper in your ear,
and softly sing a woodland tune,
as you slumber ‘neath the moon.

For from our gentle mother Earth,
the willow seed has given birth,
and nurtured from the sun on high,
it reaches out to touch the sky.

The downy little songbirds know
a song to make the willow grow.
And so the song is ever there
to lull you as you nestle there.

The soft warm breezes hear the tune,
and late at night, beneath the moon,
the rhythm of the cradles born
to rock you gently until morn.

Thru moonlit nights and sunny days
the growing willow marks the ways
of all the things that make it strong
and adds them to its inner song.

Now the circle is complete;
a basket for the baby sweet.
A place to cradle you in dreams
of dancing stars and singing streams.

DPT May 13, 1986

Nancy McKeown – “Coiled Pine Needle Basketry Stitch List”

NBO member Nancy McKeown is pleased to announce the publication of her book, “Coiled Pine Needle Basketry Stitch List”. Nancy is a prolific graphic artist who has worked producing projects for both print and web within a variety of commercial, non-profit, and educational positions over nearly 30 years. Her zest for visually clarifying information matches that of her relatively new-found love of pine needle basketry.

The book covers step-by-step instructions with meticulously detailed illustrations for all of the basic stitches commonly used in pine needle basketry today. The list is further expanded to include more complex stitches, and some of the combinations that can create intricate patterns in pine needle works. More information at Nancy McKeown – Pine Needle Basketry.

Gyöngy Laky: “Screwing With Order” Book

NBO Member Gyöngy Laky is pleased to announce the publication of her new book, “Screwing with Order: assembled art, actions, and art practice”.

“Renowned American textile artist and sculptor Gyöngy Laky (b. 1944) was once described as a ‘wood whisperer.’ Her highly individual, puzzle-like assemblages of timber and textiles helped to significantly propel the growth of the contemporary fiber-arts movement. Laky’s art traverses an extraordinary personal story: Born amid the bombings of World War II, she escaped from post-war, Soviet-dominated Hungary; was sponsored by a family in Ohio, went to grade school in Oklahoma, and went on to study at the University of California, Berkeley. She followed this by founding the Fiberworks Center for Textile Arts in the 1970s and fostering innovations as a professor at the University of California, Davis. This book provides insight into her studio practice, activism, and teaching philosophy, which champions sustainable art and design, original thinking, and the value of the unexpected.”


More information at Gyöngy Laky

Elizabeth Runyon wins Louetta Heindl Kambic Award

(Photo by Zeke Runyon). NBO member Elizabeth Runyon has received the Louetta Heindl Kambic Award at Fiberart International 2022 for her work, “Dancing on Three Legs”. It seeks to exhibit the best of contemporary art and invites submissions that reflect a wide range of works related to the fiber medium. The exhibition is recognized around the world as a benchmark that documents trends and innovations in the field. The goal of the exhibition is to include innovative work rooted in traditional fiber materials, structure, processes and history, as well as art that explores unexpected relationships between fiber and other creative disciplines.

Lissa-Jane de Sailles “Paper on Skin” Award Winner

Congratulations to NBO member Lissa-Jane de Sailles for winning the runner up award in the 2022 “Paper on Skin Wearable Art Competition” held recently in Tasmania, Australia! (Photo by Grant Wells). Paper on Skin connects the papermaking heritage of the North-West coast of Tasmania to artists who embrace the challenge of designing a wearable garment made from at least 80% paper. Paper on Skin is presented in partnership with the Devonport City Council and is assisted by Arts Tasmania.⁣

Jan Thomas – Award of Excellence

Jan Thomas’ work, VESPID VESSEL,  has been juried into The Ohio Craft Museum Best of 2022 Show and received an Award of
Excellence. The show is on view at The Ohio Crafts Museum through June 26th and then will travel to Kent State University. Visit in person or view the exhibition online at Ohio Craft Museum

Above photo by Heather Heather Hochstetter