Ribbed Baskets – Traditional to Contemporary
By: Anne Bowers
About the Book
This book is about a style of basketry construction called ribbed basketry. These are different from other kinds of baskets because, to make these baskets in the traditional way, measurements can’t be given. Instead, author Anne Bowers trains people how to visually measure and how to shape with their hands so the baskets they make are successful from the start.
Anne has a long history of teaching ribbed basketry and her approach is entirely different from anyone else’s way of teaching. Anyone who loves basketry from the traditional to the contemporary will find this book very interesting. In fact, anyone that sees the cover photos on the book and is interested in the art of basketry will want to buy this book!
The basic idea for this book is to take a highly successful series of ribbed basket classes that Anne has taught since 1998 and translate that proven knowledge into book form. This is not just another basket book…. the goal of this book is to take a body of knowledge that Anne has acquired through 40 years of basketmaking and teaching and make it accessible to a broader audience. This kind of basket construction is native to Anne’s Appalachian roots, and because of that, she wants to see this kind of work continue to grow and expand for future generations of weavers.
About the Author
Anne Bowers is a full-time artisan/craftswoman. Almost all that she knows today is self-taught. Anne has been a recipient of the “Award of Excellence” given by then Governor Cecil Underwood (1997). Her work has been purchased by Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia, Beckley, WV and also used in exhibits there.
Anne’s baskets have been shown at many juried art and craft shows; most notably, the Waterford Crafts Exhibit (1992 – 2002), the Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Show in Charles Town, WV (1989 – 2001); the National Craft Show in Gaithersburg, MD (1989 – 1993); and the National Audubon Society Holiday Fair in Chevy Chase, MD (1995 – 1997).
Her baskets have been shown in several solo exhibits as well as “The Best of West Virginia” exhibit at Tamarack (2009); the National Basketry Organization’s exhibits, “Beyond Basketry 2008”; and “Basketry Today: A New World of Methods and Materials” (2002) at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Anne has also won Viewer’s Choice, and Professional prizes several years in various categories from the North Carolina Basketry Association, the Missouri Basketry Guild, and the Heritage Craft Center, Martinsburg, WV.
In the first 20 years of Anne’s career, she made and sold baskets of all kinds at various high-end craft shows and at her studio in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Slowly she transitioned from making baskets into teaching basketry, which she still enjoys. Teaching has become Anne’s life’s work, and she conducts classes all over the United States at various established conventions and conferences in WV, VA, MD, NC, SC, FL, VT, NH, MO, MI, KY, TN, CT, WI, NY, IN, CA, WA and OH, and in her studio and, even, on occasion, cruise ships. (All of these events have limited focus on ribbed basketry, as very few teachers know and teach these techniques.)
One of Anne’s most honored privileges has been to be a 33-year member of the Over the Mountain Studio Tour in her home county, Jefferson, WV. The studio tour began 33 years ago at Anne’s kitchen table and has developed into a tour that is well recognized regionally. It gives Anne great pleasure to know that the 25 artisans who are on the Over the Mountain Studio Tour are assisted in making their living through the tour. The hundreds of people who come to the studios consistently are attracted by the positive vibes in our group of artisans, the quality of their work, and by the positive reputation they have in their community and area. Being a member of the Steering Committee and an annual tour participant has helped Anne to develop into the artisan she is today. Throughout all phases of her life and work in basketry, her husband, children, and grandchildren have been very supportive.
(2023, paperback, 108 pages)
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