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Collecting New Baskets
Using Internet Resources To Add To Your Basketry Collection
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"I am trying to find information on the making of the Double Woven River Cane baskets made by the Cherokee and Chitimacha. "
RIVERCANE
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People who fill their homes with baskets in every corner of every room (I know you're out there) need no excuse for seeking out just one more basket. I would like to share some of the Internet based resources for collecting newly or recently woven baskets. You may not actually order online, although it's possible in many cases, but you can use these resources to narrow down your quest before you hop in the car or book your next flight.

If you appreciate North American Indian baskets, numerous galleries and tribal associations offer newly created baskets representative of the cultural heritage of each group. Toh-Atin Gallery of Durango, Colorado sells coil plaques and baskets made on Second Mesa Villages. Great Smokies Fine Arts Gallery is another of many tribal marketplaces that have set up shop on the Internet.

Galleries often represent traditional basket artists. Four Winds Craft Guild offers Nantucket Lightship Baskets, as well as Scrimshaw purse tops and basket accessories. Many active contemporary basket artists are represented by galleries as well. Master Navajo basketmakers from the Black family are represented by Twin Rocks Trading Post. You can purchase many wonderful baskets by dealing with a knowledgeable gallery or dealer.

Individual basketmakers often offer their work on the Internet. Robert Haygens offers his work in White Oak baskets and Yellow Poplar Bark containers. Irene M. Ames of IMA Basket offers her Sweetser type Ash baskets, including a cradle, creel and pack basket. Willow baskets by Bonnie Gale are available from English Basketry Willows. Tara Prindle of Waaban Aki Crafting offers birch bark containers, coiled pine needle baskets, twined corn husk bottles and numerous basketry related gifts and accessories. Beth Peterson and Mark Kelz craft exquisite Ash baskets with carved figural handles. Jonathan Kline offers a selection of painted and natural finish, traditional black ash woodsplint baskets.

Perhaps you are looking for something a little more mundane. Farmhouse Wares offers a decorative straw bee skep which would be a lovely addition to your garden or decor. If you are looking for a laundry or picnic basket try Somerset Willow Co. or try one of the other resources listed in my picnic basket feature.

Whether you are looking for a museum quality piece of basket art or just a functional container to use around the house, there are myriad opportunities to make the connection to the piece you want via the Internet. Be certain that you are just as discriminating about your choice of a basket chosen from long distance as you would be in person. Most sites have email addresses so that you can initiate a discussion with the vendor about the basket you are considering. Ask questions about the quality and construction of the piece. Be certain to ask about the maker of the basket. You are really buying a piece of the maker when you buy a basket and it is valuable to know as much as you can about the person as well as their work.

Galleries, conferences, guild events, Indian Powwows, teachers, craft school gift shops, suppliers' retail shops and Internet vendors can all be sources of desirable baskets. The netlinks on BasketMakers will point you to many of them. Use the netlinks for a jump-off point for your own shopping foray.

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