Think Outside the Mold for your next Basketry Project

Basketry | Jill Choate Basketry

I get asked a lot where my inspiration comes from for the different designs in my brand of basketry.

Truth is, I get a lot of inspiration from looking at other artists work.  That's not just limited to basket makers but fiber artists, weavers, potters, and gourd artists as well. 

Long before the days of Pinterest (which I LOVE by the way CLICK HERE for my Pinterest page) I used an inspiration book.  Clippings and photos of whatever made the light go on in my head with how can I use that in a basket.   The questions of "what if" and "how can I make that work" are always swirling around my brain.    

Most of the time I can build on the skills that I have and create what I have in my head to hold in my hands and I'm pretty satisfied with it.  Sometimes I have to walk away from it for a while and let my brain rest and other times it's what I like to term "fire fodder".

 Some examples of how my head works.

 

Basketry | Jill Choate Basketry

I LOVED this basket with the double rim that I found on Pinterest.  So I came up with my own double rimmed version below.  

Basketry | Jill Choate Basketry

It is a little fancier and with much more embellishment but from the above inspiration came the below actual basket.  Now my brain says "what if we used THREE rims"?

The intricate twill weave of some of the Russian paper basketry is awesome.  From their brand of twill designs I came up with Russian Twitch design.

 Basketry | Jill Choate Basketry

 

The reason it was named Russian Twitch is two-fold.   First, it made me twitch to figure it out and second, it's similar to a fishing term called "the Russian River twitch".   A fishing technique used on the Russian River when the salmon are in and only known to Alaskans. :)

 

Basketry | Jill Choate Basketry

 

I'm truly inspired by the work of Kari Lonning and her hairy technique.  Mine of course had to have an antler as part of the design and instead of "hair-ies" I called my "porkies" since in Alaska we have a lot of porcupines around.

Basketry | Jill Choate Basketry

The Porkypod was the result and it became a cover for a book by Betsey Sloan. 

Basketry | Jill Choate Basketry

Bolga baskets:  I LOVE the color and the design work involved in them.  They use an entirely different medium than reed but I was transfixed by the designs.

Basketry | Jill Choate Basketry

So I designed Katka (which is a mountain outside of my studio in the Cabinet Mountains).  

Basketry | Jill Choate Basketry

So you can see that I draw my inspiration from a lot of different places.  Your mantra is "what if" and "how can I make that work" to break out of the mold of what your currently creating now.

Other BLOG posts to inspire:

Design links:


Jill Choate
Jill Choate

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2 Responses

Shirley Sexton
Shirley Sexton

August 01, 2019

I see you are still making awesome and intricate designs. Miss you at Tennessee basket conventions and Curtis says hi.

Jennifer S
Jennifer S

August 01, 2019

This was insightful and helpful to have you share what has inspired your beautiful weaving. Thank you for sharing!

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