American Native Arts and Antiques

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Elusive Illusions Basket - color and design


This basket by Sarah Sockbeson, Penobscot has eluded my attempts to accurately describe it. It is as etherial as it's maker, delicate of design, colors that seem to be more and less intense with your angle of view, a shape that is almost a straight sided round "drum" basket - and yet... there is a slight bulge at the middle of the basket. A more pronounced bulge would make it an urchin basket but... there it is - it is Sarah's beautiful elusive basket!

It has a slice of a deer antler as it's handle, it is of a claret wine color with 2 shades of gray and the tiniest of standard 1/2 diamond curls that separate the claret from the gray stripes. The diamond curls slant opposite directions - giving an illusion of movement when you glance at it.

This is 4.5" diameter top and bottom, with the center bulge making the middle 5" in diameter. It is 3" to the top of the basket and the antler handle adds 1.25" making the overall height 4.25".

Woven of brown ash splints, traditional basketry material of the Wabanaki peoples (5 tribe confederacy; Abenaki, Maliseet,MicMac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot). The rims of the basket and the lid are bound with tidal sweetgrass.

Sarah has used alternating claret and darker gray ash splints for her foundation splints weaving a claret splint then a lighter gray splint to create the alternating stripes. The use of lighter and darker gray add to the illusion of movement which is accented by the tiny bordering light natural ash curls.

Basket is signed and dated on outer edge of inside of lid. Comes with the card Sarah included shown in two of the photos.

Last photo is of Sarah - I hope to post her bio soon ... photo and more information about Sarah will move there when that is up!

Elusive Basket
Elusive Basket - Top
Elusive Basket - Open
Elusive Basket - Signature
Sarah Sockbeson, Penobscot basketmaker
Weight: 1 lb