A major piece by Geo Neptune, Passamaquoddy - "Traditional Flower Basket w/13 Flower's"
First 4 photos show this piece from all 4 sides - following photos show individual flowers close-up, then the basket bottom, and George's signature (on the underside of the handle).
This round basket is a traditional form, which has always been called a flower basket (for carrying to the garden place cut flowers). It is slightly concave with a handle over it. The addition of basketry flowers to the basket is anything but traditional. Some Passamaquoddy basket makers, including Geo's grandmother, Molly Neptune Parker, have put 1, 2 or 3 basketry flowers all of the same type on the tops of special baskets they make. - But Geo here has made 6 different types of flowers using 10 colors to do so. (2 colors in the long green curling leaves. Dying ash splints is a labor intensive process so to use 9 colors in one small piece took Geo quite some time! All the flowers begin with plain tidal sweetgrass weavers at the center/start of the flower. There are 2 water lilies here - a large natural/white one and a smaller red one. The water lilies outer petals frame the inner petals which stand up, slightly curing inward. There are 2 flowers with "striped petals" a darker purple and a lighter one ... the darker purple has petals with yellow stripes at their center while the lighter purple flower has petals with pale green stripes at their center. There is a large "double" petaled teal blue flower and a small "double" petaled red flower and the rest of the flowers vary in size with some flowers having rounder petals, others more elongated ones.
This is 7.5" in diameter and stands 6" to top of handle. The largest flower is 3.25" in diameter and the smallest is 1.25" in diameter.
Made of brown ash, the traditional material of Maine and Eastern Canadian basketmakers, this has plain tidal sweetgrass at the rim of the basket and overlaying the handle. Geo uses some braided sweetgrass to make a lovely swirl design on the bottom of the basket that will be seen only when you turn it over - you can see it the last photo. Be sure to view all of the photos to see close-ups of all of the amazing flowers.
Geo Neptune was featured along with 3 other young Maine Indian basketmakers in Portland Museum of Art's biennial exhibit in 2016 elevating his (and their) work from craft to art. He has won several 1st and 2nd place ribbons at Sante Fe Indian Market and other prestigious shows. Geo was born and raised in Indian Township, Passamaquoddy territory, Maine by his Grandmother, Molly Neptune Parker. See more about Geo, his work and his remarkable speaking career in the "Bio" section of this website.
In 2012 Geo's grandmother, Molly Neptune Parker was awarded one of nine National Heritage Fellows by the National Endowment for the Arts. The honor, awarded each year, recognizes the recipients’ artistic excellence and supports their continuing contributions to the nation’s traditional arts heritage. Parker will received her award at a ceremony in Washington, DC.