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The Baskets of Vivian Cottrell

Q. How did you get started in basket weaving?

A. My mother taught me to basketweave when I was 13 years old


Q. What is the biggest influence on your art?

A. Honored as a Cherokee National Treasure in 1995, the importance of sharing our traditional Cherokee basket making knowledge on to young Cherokee people is most rewarding. How basket material is gathered, processed, dyed, and woven is a responsibility so we will not forget our history.


Q. Did art play a role in your childhood? (Were you exposed to artists, did you enjoy making art)

A. Art has always been a part of my life. I am a 4th generation basketmaker.


Q. Who is your favorite artist?

A. I admire many Native American basketmakers. My mother, Betty Scraper Garner was my mentor. We did our weaving together for 25 years


Q. How does art impact your life?

A. I feel that my art is an outlet for creativity. I create traditional pieces when I weave with rivercane, honeysuckle, white oak and buck brush and use traditional dyed reed or splints. Contemporary pieces allow me to be most creative due to the wide availability of commercial dye and machine processed weaving materials


Q. What do you do when you make a mistake?

A. I was taught that only the Creator is perfect, so I never make a perfect basket. There is always a mistake in my baskets.


Q. What does your workday look like?

A.Usually I am either harvesting, splitting, peeling or weaving my materials. Fall and winter are seasons to gather and prepare. Spring and summer are seasons to weave. I do weave all year long too.


Find more of Vivian's work on Facebook, Etsy, Instagram, and her website.


All of the above images are copyright Vivian Cottrell and shared here with permission.



Try it Yourself

Image by donschenck from Pixabay

Make a paper plate bowl with Happy Hooligans.


You will need:

paper plate

something round to trace that is smaller then the flat part of your plate

pencil

scissors

yarn

glue


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