Sadly Clara Keezer passed away on August 2nd, 2016 at the age of 86 . She was born August 3rd, 1930.
Great snowman basket by Clara Neptune Keezer. Clara or her sister Theresa Neptune (d/2007) made the first snowman basket. Clara still makes snowman baskets, but very rarely. I believe this is the last snowman basket Clara made.
This happy fellow is 11" tall and 4" at widest diameter which is the hat brim and 3.5" in diameter at the widest "snowball" which is the bottom one. The snowman's hat is the style of hat used in the 1880-1920 "powder puff basket hats" There is one of these in the "Vintage Maine Indian Items" section of this store. This hat is adorned with a red dyed ash splint "bow ribbon" which Clara also uses for "handles" on many of her basket lids.
Clara has used buttons for the eyes, nose and ... the buttons on this snowman. She has made it's mouth of tiny sideways curlicue curls. The snowman has a small scarf of velvet ribbon and a tall staff/cane which has red dyed ash X's overlaying it. The snowman's arms are made of braided tidal sweetgrass. There are small curlicue curls at the bottom of the bottom basket for the snowman to be able to sit level and stable.
Clara has used ash splints, the traditional material of Maine and Eastern Canadian basketmakers in making this snowman. The rims of the individual baskets are wrapped in plain tidal sweetgrass.