I want to talk about Anne Bowers, just because I have to right now. She is my basket hero, and I am sure I am not the only one, there are many of you out there including her students, family, peers and basket makers around the world. She seems to me to have filled her life with this media that is the basket…a vessel, so human, visceral, useful and, yes, beautiful.
Last month she attended the World Wicker and Weaving Festival-Festiwal Wikliny I Plecionkarstwa, in the city of Poznan´, Poland. She was invited there and accompanied by three of her fellow basket makers and friends.They represented the US in a weaving competition. On FB she sent many photos of the conference (never too many for me!). Anne took photos of the plentiful baskets there on display from 30 countries and many participants. There were lamp baskets, animal shapes, a big wicker car, jelly fish, and huge free forms,
The love Anne had for these wonderful creations through her photos is apparent. She said she was in “basket heaven”.
She seemed to have an admiration for every single one, she did not mention she had a favorite, or who won, or who placed, well. l expect she congratulated her companions, as they probably did her. The photos she shared (FB) showed she was happy and proud of the whole event. I personally loved the four baskets from the USA, they were flamboyant, diverse and all had beautiful colors and textures. To me they stood out, but why not? Anne is our own Jefferson County maker!
Okay, more hero news. Anne has been working a while on developing her book: Ribbed Baskets Traditional to Contemporary. Now returned from Poland, I see that her book is out! with photos and instruction and advice gathered over forty years of basketmaking. Even though I have only made four little crooked honeysuckle baskets in my life, I must have this book, after all, Anne is my basket hero.
NOTE: Our next two blogs will be featuring everyone, and where the stops are and what to expect at each of the stops. Be sure to look at the map stop numbers for they change every year! I am “going on” the tour this year to visit my wonderful maker friends, mourn the lose of our Nancy Streeter, and to hang out a little with my basket hero. November is around the corner!