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The Language of the Baskets by Sherri Gould

Sherry Gould lives in Warner, NH with her husband Bill. They were both born and raised in New Hampshire. Together, they raised their two daughters in Warner. They celebrate their Abenaki heritage and love making beautiful baskets. Sherry studied Abenaki fancy baskets in 2004 and 2007 with master artist Jeanie Brink of Barre, VT through grants from the New Hampshire Arts Council, Traditional Arts apprenticeship program. Together Sherry and Bill studied utilitarian Abenaki basket-making in 2006 under master artist Newt Washburn of Bethlehem, NH. Sherry's basket focus is on fancy baskets. From 2009-2013 Sherry has taught four apprentices, some through an award from the NH Arts Council, Traditional Arts program. She became a juried basket maker through the League of NH Craftsmen in 20065, being the first Native American artist in the league.

 I love baskets. They are, and they have always been a part of who I am. I am many things, but I am best known for my baskets.  When I work with my husband on baskets, we are the most centered and “one” as any time in our lives together. When my mother, or my daughters, or my nephew, my sister, my brother, or my grandchildren sit down to make a basket with me, there is nothing wrong anywhere in the world. This signifies to me the rightness of basket making in my life. I can sit all alone with strips of brown ash and sweetgrass and create a work, first in my mind’s eye, then in a dimensional reality and I feel all those in my family who came before me and are no longer walking with us, who sat, saw and created their own basketry. Gathering the materials for baskets is fundamentally woven into the process of my work. My husband gathers the brown ash trees. He is a lumberman; it is so very much a part of who he is. He is so much a part of who I am, and it brings him into each basket I create. We gather sweetgrass together from indigenous places in New Hampshire and Maine. It is an act of worship in concert with those old ones who visited and tended and harvested in those gardens of old. I gather the materials to add color and texture to my baskets from my land, or from the flea market, or online. It is all the same, a simple and beautiful act of gathering. I learned this art form from two incredible traditional artists; Jeanne Brink, a fancy basket maker and Newt Washburn, a utilitarian basket maker. Being rooted in these two veins of Abenaki tradition provides a solid base for my work. I have started down a path of divergence from the traditional basket forms I was taught. It is a bit frightening to wander off, but it is very exciting! It is my prayer that you see beauty in my basket and that it evokes in you a deep sense that all is right in your world.

Costs: $15.00 Members $20.00 Non Members

Call 603-456-2600 to reserve your place for this event.