Fire as Medicine. Stewardship. Cultural Burning. Indigenous people across the globe learned to manage and live in harmony with fire over thousands of years.
From my roots in the Midwest, I try to envision the bountiful grasslands and forests that flourished a mere century ago. As a contemporary basket weaver, I reflect on the universality of baskets made with local grasses. By utilizing the most common of nature’s gifts, a weaver transforms it into a functional tool aiding daily life.
In Harmony with Fire is an adaptation of the traditional coiled grass baskets. To represent the grass, I have chosen tiny glass threads, called stringer, which are bundled and shaped in a kiln-forming technique. Waxed linen is used to twine the grass-like bundles of glass together.
I often muse comparing my eclectic basketry with my diverse heritage of German/Shawnee and English/French. How rich we are when we meld and blend for the betterment of all! We can shape a new path where respect for the land and for each other is one and the same.
This first ‘Native Grasses’ sculptural flame-vessel illuminates the historical significance of indigenous practices worldwide. These sacred cultural burnings were beneficial to the land and to the health of the population. It is the story of the annual spring growth of the emerald-green grass, the summer drying, and the ceremonial burning allowing the cycle to repeat anew.
“The Dab Art Co. has launched an exclusive and unprecedented art project called ART IN THE TIME OF CORONA™. This comprehensive project includes an ongoing online exhibition, a full color publication of all selected works (published yearly), a multi-gallery international exhibition and a documentary film on the first year of the project (the film will be screened in Los Angeles).
The goal of this innovative project is to record and exhibit (in real time) defining artwork created during civil uncertainty. (Yessíca Torres’) hope is to unite viewers and help them find the sanctity, comfort and inspiration needed to heal a world in turmoil. We are hopeful as a company and as members of our respective communities, that when current mandates and quarantines are lifted, our resilience as artists will be the foundation for social unity.’
I’m looking forward to exhibiting at the Guardino Gallery in NE Portland later this month along with 19 talented basketry artists from the Columbia Basin Basketry Guild. We hope you are able to visit the gallery in person or can virtually take a tour. Check out the flyer for all the details.