Matt Tommey

Matt Tommey is an American basketry artist and teacher from East Texas. His sculptural basketry work is collected nationwide and has been featured in various magazines.

He teaches online basket weaving classes, leads a global artist mentorship program called “Created to Thrive” and was recognized as one of the Best Art Mentors in 2018 by Professional Artist Magazine.

In 2010, Matt was included on the registry of American Artists Under 40 by the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery.

From the artist: 
It has been said that all creativity happens at the edge of chaos and order… For me the chaos just happens to look like tangled, gnarly vines wrapped tightly around strangled trees and laurel, pods and cones littering the forest floor; the order like a beautiful sculptural basket that reminds me of its source. Somewhere in the middle is where the magic happens, where Creativity broods over the chaos and new life begins; beauty is born. A simple walk through forest explodes into a symphony of possibilities; back breaking in giddy glee as I carry the treasures toward their purpose. What once was dead is now alive, that which was hated is now desired, that which had no breath suddenly heaves with hope afresh. The weaving is the easy part; it’s seeing beauty while it’s still hidden that is the adventure. Even though these woven creations seem to simply form in the hands of their maker, as if to say it is only skill that brings them to life, it must always be remembered that every basket begins with a walk in the woods. It’s time to take a walk.

My handcrafted baskets are a whimsical collaboration of traditional weaving techniques, vines, bark and recycled metal. Since the early 1990’s, my interpretation has offered a heartfelt nod to my roots in Appalachian basketry while offering a contemporary expression that is all my own. My most recent work focuses on the use of a wide variety of southeastern invasive species, encaustic wax and recycled metal in the creation of sculptural art vessels. For me, every basket begins with a walk in the woods. I pay close attention to the materials I choose while harvesting to ensure the most unique design features and highest quality. My artistic voice centers around a quest to truly speak the language of natural materials in a fluid manner. By responding to nature and incorporating many different barks, vines, and branches, I am able to create one-of-a-kind sculptural creations that merge my contemporary style and love for movement with the simple beauty of nature.

To see Matt’s art baskets and take one of his online basket weaving classes, visit
To find out more about Matt’s artist mentorship program, visit

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