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Basket Day At The Hatheway House, Suffield, CT August 5 2000 held in co-operation with Northeast Basketmakers Guild - hatheway.gif (4031 bytes)

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Phelps-Hatheway House Museum and Gardens - Site of the 2000 Basket Show and Sale held in co-operation with Northeast Basketmakers Guild - hathewayhouse.jpg (73796 bytes)The Phelps-Hatheway House Museum and Gardens was host to a sizeable group of basketmakers on Saturday August 5, 2000 in Suffield, Connecticut for a Basket Show and Sale. The Phelps-Hatheway house is one of the historic properties managed by the Connecticut Antiquarian and Landmarks Society. The house, located on Main Street in the small town of Suffield, was built in the 1760's by Shem Burbank. It was enlarged and embellished to flaunt the wealth of its land speculator, owner Oliver Phelps later in the 1790's. After Phelps’ death in debt, the house was purchased by Asahel Hatheway and it remained in the Hatheway family for a century. The beautiful house and gardens made a lovely location for a basketry event. The weather was clear and bright on this Saturday, making the setting even better. The basket vendors set up tables and tents in the lawn outside the spacious barn and in the barn itself. Basketry demonstrations were offered throughout the afternoon and visitors were treated to a pleasant basket shopping experience.The Barn At The Hatheway House Where Basket Vendors Set Up Their Displays - barn.jpg (22548 bytes)

The staff of the Hatheway House spent a great deal of time planning for and promoting the event. Members of Northeast Basketmakers Guild were invited to set up booths to display, demonstrate and/or sell their baskets on the grounds of the museum.

Tours were led through the museum itself by the Hatheway House staff. A special collection of baskets assembled for the Summer was included in the room displays. Arrangements were made for appraisals to be made on visitor's baskets for a small fee by two antique dealers.

Michael Sokolowski demonstrates Nantucket Lightship Basketmaking at the Hatheway House - sokolowski.jpg (21629 bytes)Michael Sokolowski of Springfield, Massachusetts, demonstrated the art of Nantucket Lightship Basketmaking. He patiently explained the weaving process to young and old, all the while weaving carefully on the basket he had in progress. Michael also had a selection of his classic hardwood and cane lightship baskets in a variety of sizes and shapes available for purchase. These fine baskets are modeled after the style of baskets first created by sailors stationed for long periods on the lightships moored off the treacherous shoals of Nantucket Island. The Nantucket Lightship Basket style is characterized by carefully controlled, mold-woven shapes, tightly woven cane bodies and hardwood bases and handles. They are often embellished using carved or scrimshawed ivory.

More Basketmakers And Event Details on Page 2

All photos 2000 Susi Nuss, All Rights Reserved

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