Welcome to my blog! I was recently awarded an Individual Artist Career Grant by the Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council to explore and create new, large works. My daughter suggested that I should use my love for journaling and create a blog to document this journey - hence "Baskets by Janet." I will use this to record my successes - and failures - along the way.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

    I finally got the basket rimmed and decided it looks like a hat so I've named it, "A Tip of the Hat."  I discovered Pakistan grass and it worked perfectly (after a little experimentation) for the rim.  The rim is what really gave it the "hat" feel for me. 

Monday, February 13, 2012


 Here's the basket I made over the flower pot.  Ignore all the little strings - they'll come out.  My biggest problem now is trying to figure out how I'm going to rim it.  I think I'm going to try leather.  This basket is 20" tall and 20" wide at the top.  It's a double walled basket with the inner basket woven "good side" in and the tapestry woven outside.  It has reed, yarn, mohair, seagrass, pine needles and philodendron sheaths woven in it.  It hasn't been stained yet - that's why it's so "white."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

   I was excited and more than a little awed when I learned I was awarded this grant.  I received a Development Grant in 2011which I used to create a portfolio so I could approach galleries about showing my work.  I have held a couple shows and have more scheduled.  Most of the works I did with that grant were large tapestry baskets and wall pieces.  I discovered that I had reached the limit of how large I could go using the techniques I employed.  With this grant I am going to explore ways to create even larger works.  I am part of "Kaleidoscope - An Artists' Gallery" in New London and one of the other members is Craig Edwards, potter.  Everytime I'm in the gallery I see Craig's beautiful large works and think how exciting it would be to create a basket of that size.  I also intend to explore other things I can create with my medium.
   Less than a week into this adventure, I already suffered my first setback.  Craig gave me a large pot he had sitting outside his studio to use as a mold.  Granted, the pot had been outside for a couple years and was beginning to deteriorate, but I thought it was worth a shot.  After patching some of the places where it was crumbling,  I drilled a hole in the bottom, attached a wood base and began weaving a basket around it.  When I was about 3" up I decided I wanted to see how it looked on the inside, so I removed the basket from the pot.  While I was admiring my work, the pot rolled off my work table and broke in a thousand pieces!  Hmmmm.  I started over with a large flower pot as a mold and created something totally different from what I had originally envisioned.  Craig is going to make me another large pot soon so I can try again.
   I'll keep you posted!