Kenny Keezer, son of well known Passamaquoddy basketmaker, Clara Keezer has made this beautiful basket with rust and green curlicue curls. Kenny made a few baskets now and then over the last 20-25 years. But since his mother's passing (see below) Kenny has taken his baskets to a new level! He uses some of the same shapes and techniques that his mother did - such as the bow ribbon handle on the lid & more. But the colors and the ultra-fine braiding of the sweetgrass are all Kenny.
This basket is a drum basket (straight sided round basket) and is 4.5" diameter and 3.25" high to the top of the lid with a Keezer signature bow ribbon handle adding another 1/4" to the over all height (3.5" total).
This basket is made of brown ash splints, the traditional material of Maine and Eastern Canadian basketmakers and also incorporates plain tidal sweetgrass to wrap the rim of the lid. Curlicue curls alternate with plain ash weavers in vertical rows and the curlicues alternate green and deep rust color (dyed ash splints) ... NOTE: see the curlicues on the lid? They are smaller than the ones on the basket side, nice touch! The very outer edge of the lid and at the center of lid around the handle are 5 rows of extremely finely and tightly braided tidal sweetgrass used as weavers there. Between the 2 ash rim splints at the top of the basket is another Keezer trademark - a braid of tidal sweetgrass. This grass grows on tidal marshes within view of the Keezer home in the most Northeastern corner of this country... The land and people of the dawn- The Passamaquoddy reserve near Eastport Maine where the dawn hits this country first. The grass here has been picked, dried, combed and braided by Kenny ..
Clara Neptune Keezer (b 1930 - d 2016), Passamaquoddy basketmaker was a winner of a NEA 2002 Heritage Fellowship award for her basketry work. According to the NEA website, this award is "the country's highest honor in the folk and traditional art" -... and includes all folk arts and crafts including but not limited to - music, dance, performance art and traditional crafts and arts. Clara is missed...