I met Gin years ago at a trade show in Boston…and she FORCED strongly encouraged me and my sister to sit down and make a basket…”it will calm and focus you dear…and you’ll have fun” We didn’t resist and we had fun. And then Gin moved DownEast and we’ve had the pleasure of knowing this smiling tornado in a skirt for a few years now. If you’ve ever thought about making baskets or want to improve your skills, take a class with Gin…you’ll have fun, you’ll gain skill and the Goddess’s only know what you’ll be talking about 😉 She’ll be teaching two classes this year…a covered sewing basket on Friday and basket making for beginners on Sunday. She’ll also have a booth with supplies and finished baskets for your shopping pleasure.
She got around to answering our interview the other day and this is what she had to share:
1. The unauthorized biography of your life is titled: “The Basket Case”
2. If forced to choose, would you be an eraser or a permanent magic marker? I would choose to be a Permanent Magic Marker. It is brave and lasting, with few regrets. I have made many baskets that I wasn’t thrilled with but I finished each one and put it out there and someone liked it enough to buy it. I used what I learned to make another basket and another until I was thrilled with the result and took a photo for later reference or I moved on.
4. What are you currently reading? The Bible, I started at Mathew and I hope to be finished in a year. There is some great stuff in there!
6. How do you know when your work is done? There is a sense of balance, just before it starts to look top heavy. I tend to prefer my table or floor baskets to the wider and longer than they are tall. I like my wall baskets to be flatter and taller than they are wide.
7. What do you listen to while you create? Books on Tape are a great way to fill my head while my hands are busy making stock for shows or weaving the sides of larger baskets.
8. Why do you (knit, quilt, spin, carve, design)? What is your purpose? Therapy. weaving baskets is soothing and produces results in a relative short period of time. Most baskets take me less than and hour to weave I love the sense of accomplishment.
10. How does, or should, the word “passion” relate to an artist? Passion makes it happen! Many people can do the technical work of making an object but passion makes it come alive.
12. A lot of artists want to be famous, and some just want to make a living doing what they love. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I see myself teaching people to teach basket making to beginners. I have made about 70,000 baskets and I have designed basket kits to make basket weaving attainable for all ages. Now I was to get the materials in the hands of schools volunteers and museum interpreter so more people can see and experience the satisfaction of weaving a basket.
14. When it’s time to stimulate your creativity where do you go to get the juices flowing?
To books of antique baskets. I learned to weave the style that I produce by studying antique buying guides. I love the primitive, first timer and chunky functional basket from the past. For dessert I make a few simple but elegant Shaker style pieces. My collection of photos of past works often inspires me also.
15. How many projects do you generally have going at one time? My life is a project with lots of smaller project each within another project. I don’t think that I get to sleep without counting projects and their progress.