Tamara Wight Baskets

Traditional and Sculptural Basketry

Artists Statement

I have been weaving baskets for over 30 years.  My work began with simplicity and symmetry.  It quickly began to vary with color, materials, texture, and finally shape and movement influenced by my experience of the natural world.  The tangible influences come from the things I gather along the dirt roads, woods, lakes and streams near our home in Vermont, from the ocean, and findings from friends and family.  Stones, rusty metal, and unusual pieces of wood inspire an idea, and are often the beginnings of a creation.

 

I have been a gatherer and a maker of things since I can remember.  My daughter says I collect debris.  I do, and when I use a piece of wood from my collections as a basis for a weaving, a basket begins to grow, first, in my imagination and then in front of me as I weave. It is at this point that I begin to attend to the wood and the way it influences the weaving.  As it grows, I learn from the interaction of the wood with the reed what needs to be added, indented, or deleted in order to preserve the integrity of the piece.  The work throughout the weaving is a beautiful process of focus and change.

 

The beginning of one of my larger baskets.

How I Create Baskets . . .

Once a piece of driftwood, or a stone, or a dream inspires me, I often start a new basket with a sketch. This is a sketch I did for "Stone, Rust and String V." The sketch combines the visual appearance, as well as the process I'll follow, and the list of raw materials that will go into the final design.

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