Kelp, colored wire, scrap paper, beads, bamboo and bark all become woven marvels in the hands of the Bay Area basket makers who demonstrated their skills at Sanchez Art Center over the weekend.
“Basket” is too limited a word to describe the artworks displayed in the Sanchez show of works by the Bay Area Basket Makers Guild. The weavings take various forms, some more traditionally bowl-shaped, but others sprawling or snaking across the wall. Some add woven elements to objects like gourds or stones.
Several of the artists set up tables in the East Gallery last Saturday to demonstrate their techniques. One showed how to bundle pine needles and twine them into a bowl. Another wove strips of old T-shirts within a hula-hoop frame, a project she does with children. She keeps an eye out for discarded materials that could lend themselves to use. The creations she had on display incorporate electrical wire, yarn and strips of paper.
Another artisan worked a strand of bull kelp around the spokes of a free-form basket as she described how to prep the seaweed for use. Different materials lend themselves to different weaving techniques, she said. Kelp can be “wildly uncooperative and unpredictable,” but also result in interesting pieces.
The basket makers meet monthly in the East Bay and present workshops and classes. The show, “Diversity,” will be on view at the Sanchez Art Center through March 26. The center is located at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd. For details, visit sanchezartcenter.org.
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