September 1 at the Seaside Art Walk, 5-7pm
This year’s Pacific Ocean basket series is my biggest, most colorful series yet! I made 24 baskets with fishing rope salvaged from the coastlines of Oregon and Kauai. I had new colors and textures to work with – bright yellow, fuzzy dark green, and lots of slippery emerald that floated all the way to Oregon from Japan.
I made the choice to keep the rope from different places separate, so there are actually three collections in the Pacific Ocean series: Oregon Coast baskets, Kauai baskets, and the baskets I made using rope from Japan.
This is my third series of ghost net rope baskets since I first started making them in 2015, inspired by the colorful flotsam I found on every coast. I spent two weeks this spring stitching 24 baskets, a Basket Bonanza compared to last year’s series of just 8 baskets! It was fun to have the time to make matching pairs and sets, experimenting with an idea in color or pattern.
New this year, each of the Pacific Ocean baskets includes a seashell-like coil of white cotton rope at the very center of the basket base. It’s a surprise reward you get for peeking inside!
After months of collecting beach stones up and down the Oregon coast, and on Kauai, I spent one full week choosing a stone or two to finish each basket. The anchor stones are all beachcombing treasures: rocks with holes bored by clams, fossilized seashells, and sculptural bits of coral. I am a collector by nature, and this project gave me an excuse to come home with a bag full of rocks on several occasions!
I love working with the weathered texture and bright colors and patterns of the rope that I find. I don’t do any dyeing, just a good scrub in hot soapy water. Sometimes the brightest pieces fall apart during the wash, and I’ve found myself reluctant to just throw them “away,” as I become more and more aware that away is a place. I have a new idea for the tiny fragments involving handmade paper and erosion… but it will have to wait until next year!
A portion of the proceeds benefits local ocean conservation groups!