Handwoven Baskets & Hand Crochet
Celtic Bird Many Paths Fiber Arts

Artist's Statement

Handwoven Baskets & Hand Crochet
  Artist Dominica Lord-Wood

I am drawn to traditional crafts because of my fascination with the way these forms of artistic expression keep cultural values and traditions alive. Making fiber art allows me to connect with my ancestral heritage, while exploring creative innovations.  I have recently begun to weave wool yarn into some of the baskets to integrate my love of weaving reed baskets and spinning wool.

When making reed baskets, I have learned they usually “make themselves”. By this I mean that as I begin to weave the damp reed, the shape evolves through the process itself. I prefer to use natural reed,then dye it using soft-toned dyes, walnut hulls, or berry juices. I may incorporate plant material from my garden and the woods. I also use reed or branches for handles and have a nice selection of gathered “beaver hewn wood” that I use for handles on the Rustic baskets. For the Traditional baskets, I may use wood and metal handles, which are attached to the reed baskets with metal hinges. If the handles are plain wood, I may use twine to attach them because it enhances the rustic, natural look I want the baskets to have.  

To make pine needle baskets, I use long southern pine needles. I use waxed thread, which comes from the Maine Thread Company, to bind the pine needles together. As I bind coil upon coil, using a steel needle threaded with the waxed linen, I allow the baskets to take the shape that seems to naturally occur. Sometimes I use a bit of sweet grass on the rim because it is a nice finishing touch and makes the baskets smell lovely. If the basket has a lid, I may use a pinecone on top. I have also begun decorating some of the pine needle baskets with quartz stone, lapis lazuli or turquoise chips, which is reminiscent of traditional Native baskets. 

When I make crocheted vests, sweaters, hats, scarves, or handbags  I work with yarns from several sources: Bartlett Yarns of Harmony, Maine, Harrisville Yarn from New Hampshire, Plymouth Yarn from Pennsylania and Brown Sheep Company  from Nebraska. Because my customers have requested it, I sometimes use wool blends. Plymouth Encore provides softness, while pure wool from Plymouth and my other sources provide the textural look that is integral to my work.  I have been crocheting most of my life and think primarily about the colors I would like to use for the project, then just begin.  I enjoy being a tradition keeper who honors the past with my craft.

 
Handwoven Baskets & Hand Crochet