Katherine Lewis began weaving willow baskets in 1992 and now works full time as a basketmaker. She grows a large selection of basketry willows on her farm near Mount Vernon, Washington, allowing her to choose from an array of natural colors. Her goal is to weave baskets that are functional and durable while reflecting the natural beauty of the willows.
Katherine weaves baskets using traditional European stake and strand willow basketry techniques and the hand tools of the craft from field to finished pieces. She has traveled several times to Europe to study the basketmaking traditions, explore the willow growing areas, and collect new varieties to plant for her work.
The Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum acquired several of her baskets in 2011 as part of the Cole Ware Collection of American Baskets, which documents the revival of traditional basketry in the United States during the past fifty years. Katherine was a featured artist in the National Basketry Organization Quarterly Review (Spring 2013) and profiled in the article “Katherine Lewis: Willow Basketmaker” in Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot magazine (Spring 2010) published by the Handweavers Guild of America. Her work is included in the exhibition catalog “A Measure of the Earth: The Cole-Ware Collection of American Baskets” written by Renwick Gallery curator Nicholas Bell.
Visit her website: Dunbar Gardens