(BASKETS: TRADITION AND BEYOND, Leier, Peters, Wallace, 2000, 17)

A contemporary basketmaker whose work is firmly rooted in the traditions of a particular region celebrates and creates a continuum of design and technique as part of a history that can span centuries. Today, work may grow out of a single tradition or combine several traditions to create a new statement. In celebrating
the past, the essence of basketry is maintained, and the natural beauty and texture of the material joins form and overall balance to reflect harmony and simplicity.

Many basketmakers speak of the meditative nature of weaving, plaiting, coiling, twining and knotting, and this certainly has an impact on the outcome. In turn, these baskets share with the viewer a sense of reverence for the discipline required for their creation. Baskets made of native, organic materials offer an awareness of nature and help us to combat the hard surface of our highly technological world.

Requiring precision and attention to detail, the process of producing a functional basket obliges the artist to have a thorough understanding of material and techniques. Once this highly disciplined craft art is mastered, the contemporary artist is free to create work that either reflects a particular tradition directly or experiments with new techniques and materials.

Our shared human history unites artist and viewer through these baskets. By honoring tradition, they pay homage to all the unknown basketmakers who have come before.

Joan Brink, Seven Sisters, cane, peroba rosa, 16" H x 23" Dia. According to Joan Brink, “The beauty path, a Navajo spiritual concept, touches closely on my own philosophy. To always bring beauty and balance into my life as a response to the harmony of nature is at the heart of my personal understanding of this spiritual path. Very important in my development as a basket weaver has been my ongoing inspiration by Native American baskets.”