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Whatcom Museum Basket Day Workshops
Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher Building
Bellingham, WA
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Whatcom Museum Basket Day Workshops
All four Basket Day Workshops are SOLD OUT! Join us for Community Art Museum Day on Sat., April 21, 10am-4pm for informal basketry demonstrations and projects at the Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora Street.

Take inspiration from the Whatcom Museum's three basketry exhibitions--"Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America," "Hidden in the Bundle," and "Gathered Together"--and sign up for a basket making workshop at the Lightcatcher building. Skilled basket makers from the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild will lead four, unique basketry workshops. Instructors will share their knowledge and talents in natural basket weaving techniques. Students will take home a finished woven basket. Space is limited to 10 students per workshop. The workshop will include a lunch break. Register by Fri., March 16. Cancellations must be made 48 hours prior to the workshop by calling 360.778.8944, and a $25 cancellation fee will be retained.

Workshop options (choose one):

Traditions in Birch with Karen Sherwood: Create a small, scaled-down version of a traditional indigenous birch bark serving and storage bowl. Made of white or paper birch, the bowl will be stitched up using cane lacing and split cedar root to reinforce the rim. Students will learn about the many uses of birch while creating this treasure. Completed basket will measure 5 x 3 x 1. Tools will be provided. Karen Sherwood began her basket-weaving journey creating vessels woven with materials gleaned from nature and useful for wilderness survival. Over the last 25 years, her understanding of weaving and preparation of traditional materials has become much more refined, while her interest in creating "working" baskets remains strong. Karen carries a passion for exploring historic basketry techniques and styles. She brings this to her work by harvesting and preparing her own materials. With these connections to the plants and their remarkable uses, each project becomes a unique blend of past and present.

Large Banded Bowl with Sheila Wray: This traditional Shaker-style basket is woven from natural and dyed rattan (reed) using a slotted wooden base mounted on a mold. This is a great beginner basket that is as attractive as it is useful. The basket will measure 8 diameter by 4 deep. Tools will be provided. Sheila Wray, basket maker, artist, and instructor, has been exploring basket design through classes, research, and experimentation for the last 30 years. Her baskets are based on traditional designs from early pioneer days, western native influences, or Nantucket Sea captains. She also weaves baskets with contemporary designs. Whether her baskets are traditional or contemporary in style and design, each of Sheila's creations bear her original imprint. She weaves reed from the rattan plant into a wide variety of shapes and sizes that are both beautiful and utilitarian. Besides reed, Sheila also uses native materials, including cedar, ash, sweetgrass, and seagrass. She continues to seek new and interesting materials to enhance the beauty and uniqueness of her work. Visit her website at:

Diamonds all Around Market Basket with Elaine Twogood: The Market Basket is a basic hard-working basket. While this style of basket has been woven for centuries, the diamond embellishment, added with bleached Hamburg cane, gives it a contemporary look and feel. Woven of rattan, it measures 6 wide x 10 long x 5 deep (10 at handle). While most of the basket is plaited, there are a couple of rows of twining at the base. Tools will be provided. Elaine Twogood has been weaving baskets for about 30 years. She was a school librarian for 38 years. After retiring in 2004, she began to work with her friend Sheila Wray, teaching basket classes regularly. She continues to take classes and expand her knowledge of techniques and materials.

Vessels of Light with Kay Harradine: Regardless of their intended function, baskets are vessels which enclose a volume of space. We'll explore this concept by weaving a capacious rounded form using a simple open weaving technique called twining, which is used by most cultures around the world. The basket skeleton will then be covered with fine rice papers. The surface may be embellished with paper collage or pressed plants. When displayed in a window, light filtering through the basket offers a glimpse of its structure. Kay Harradine has been teaching basketry for over 35 years. With degrees in Forestry and Education from the University of Washington, she brings both ethno-botanical knowledge and strong teaching skills to the classroom. She is widely studied and has taught at basketry conferences across the US and in Canada.


Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher Building (View)
250 Flora St
Bellingham, WA 98225
United States


Arts > Visual
Education > Workshops

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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