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I was born and raised in the picturesque Hudson Valley of New York. I began my basket-making career, on pure chance, in the summer of 1991, when my children and I enrolled in a basket-making class, as a way of passing time creatively. Expecting this class to be a real treat for the kids, I was quite surprised when I took to the medium immediately, purchasing supplies to take home and practice with, while they were more interested in getting back home to swim.
While initially drawn to the simplicity and economy of Shaker baskets, I soon began to experiment with a freer, more sculptural kind of basket weaving. Using the ribbed technique that I taught myself through the study of the Appalachian egg basket, I incorporate this weaving style into the pieces of driftwood I collect along the banks of the Hudson River, Lake Ontario, the coast of Maine, and lakes and rivers in between.
For many years, I created both traditional and sculptural baskets, exhibiting at craft shows and galleries under the name Smithcraft Baskets. As the traditional work demand increased and wholesale work was taken on, I found I had less and less time for my true passion, sculptural basketry. Today, I work solely on woven sculpture, creating unique, original art pieces published here at deborahsmithwovensculpture.com
As my husband and I have moved frequently for his work in the horticultural management field, it became difficult to participate in person in art/craft shows. Some of the larger fine craft shows and exhibitions I've previously been honored to have participated in are:
Craftforms 2021, Wayne Art Center
Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show
American Craft Council, Baltimore
American Craft Council, Charlotte
American Craft Exposition, Evanston, IL
Philadelphia Furniture and Furnishings Show
Past gallery representation was by the esteemed Snyderman-Works Gallery in Philadelphia, until their close.
I hope that my work will portray for you the sense of movement that I see in each piece of driftwood and evoke visions of rapid currents, rolling seas, and the sheer the wonder of moving bodies of water.
Thank you for visiting my site.