Welcome to the most renown craft work of the west coast. Pieces such as these are part of collections both private and public around the world. Yet despite the fame of this art form, few have chosen to carry on with this craft today. The weaving styles are quite different among tribal groups on the west coast and patterns were at one time believed to be select to families. Featured here is the work of one artist who weaves on a full time basis .Each piece reflects many hours of careful work. This is a catalogue of some of finished pieces that the artist created and still offers. As she does more works they will be featured here so please visit regularly .
The grass used is a swamp grass that has to be harvested and dried. This may take months to cure. The grass is then dyed various colors. It is also believed that different colors could denote a baskets origin as much as the weaving style. Weaving with this grass can be long and tedious as wetting the grass is needed as you weave with it.
Long considered valuable works of art, Aboriginal baskets of the Pacific Northwest, West Coast. etc. give insight into the cultures which nurtured their creation. Anthropologists, collectors, and art lovers revere the lowly basket – now elevated to its rightful prominence. Unlike pottery. baskets are fragile, wore out quickly and subject to rot and deterioration from the weather – therefore they are rarer and quite valuable.
This art, from the gathering, processing of materials (harvested at certain times of the year in protected, isolated areas) can take up to a year to complete. Fortunately this Art form is still very much alive and experiencing a cultural Renaissance.
Julie & Barbara Johnson, weavers from The Nuu Chah Nulth Nation of Vancouver Island