Forty years ago, while sitting on the beach playing with my young children, I made my first basket out of a pile of willow trimmings someone had tossed there. It looked wildly made like a crazy bird’s nest. While being together with my two sons on a beautiful Pacific Northwest shoreline, this simple experience of crafting with the natural materials at hand kindled a passion for creating forms using plant fibers. I thank my family, my community, and all my teachers for cultivating this gift in me.
I began my career as a pediatric nurse, born and raised in Seattle. But forty-two years ago, when we moved to an old cottage built on Traditional Suquamish land, in Indianola Washington, I found an old Coast Salish basket left on a shelf. As I cradled the small basket, something shifted inside me. The late Upper Skagit Elder, Vi Hilbert, once said: “An Old Native Basket has a life of its own. The basket will have something different to teach each person that holds it.” For me, holding what I now know was a split cedar limb and root child’s berry basket, touched my heart and made me want to learn. Who created this? What materials is it made of? How did the weaver construct this basket? Who did they learn from? Why was it made? Who was it made for? How did it end up here on this shelf? At that very point in my life the physical act of touching and holding this small old basket gently guided me towards another career as an artist and teacher. Sharing a love of culture, environmental stewardship, and the healing nature of weaving with plants, is my passion.
“An intimate participation leaves a memory as long as you are on the earth” Skokomish Elder, Bruce Miller
This website is dedicated to my three grandchildren, Camas, Asha and Calla.