By Anne Bowers
Living on our farm in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, all I need do to search for inspiration is to step out my door. Various hand skills were part of my life growing up, so basketry was a natural for me. Forty years have gone by since I was first introduced to the wide world of basketry and now, I see everything through the eyes of a basket maker. My years of production weaving are over and now I only make enough baskets to sell during the Over the Mountain Studio Tour, but I still have a basket in my hands most days, either dyeing, designing, making or getting ready to teach a class. The camaraderie of classes, seeing that ‘aha!’ moment in a student’s eyes, selling a basket that I made by hand and broadening my knowledge of basketry the world over – all this and more meets and sustains my need to create.
I am so blessed to have met so many creative folks; famous basket makers, the makers on our studio tour and those who made baskets before me in the Appalachian region. Teaching basketry takes me all over the United States…and sometimes beyond! From individual guilds to large conferences, I can be found teaching flat splint work, twills, round reed, and sculptural basketry, but ribbed basketry is my real wheelhouse. From traditional rib work to sculptural, I am in the zone! Basketry is my familiar world, and I am very happy that you want to share it with me!