Kinchaku Kago: Japanese Basket Purse with Donna Crispin

Sun, September 3 @ 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
$50 plus $25 material fee

Workshop Series at The Sou’wester

Kinchaku Kago: Japanese Basket Purse with Donna Crispin

Weave a bit of Japanese culture into your day by making a “kinchaku kago” or Japanese basket purse, large enough to carry your phone and wallet. We will twine and plait with cane and reed to create this small purse, lined with handmade paper. The top portion will be a pre- made drawstring bag that we will sew onto the basket. This basket design by Donna was featured in Belle Armoire magazine.

“Eugene weaver and basketmaker Donna Sakamoto Crispin isn’t one to expound on the depth of meaning in each piece of her vastly diverse body of work. Rather, she is one of those rare, refreshing artists who allows a work of art to speak for itself–and, often, for her. Ms. Crispin’s art form utilizes traditional Japanese and Native American techniques passed down from generation to generation for hundreds, even thousands of years. She believes her work as artist and teacher is fundamental to preserving this craft which, outside of the realm of art, is largely obsolete.

But beyond these considerations–and we should hope every artist regards the heritage of their craft with such reverence–Ms. Crispin doesn’t get overly concerned with the details. “I’m just doing what I want to do,” she says. “I like to see what I can do with different materials. Often, I’m just responding to the environment.” This usually means she works with materials gathered sustainably, from leaves and pine needles gathered from the forest floor to painstakingly harvested strips of cedar bark.

But sometimes, Ms. Crispin creates a piece that seems to be in direct conversation with the world around her. As complex, intricate, and varied as all her work is, it is these landscape-inspired pieces that are arguably the best examples of Ms. Crispin’s artistry. While artist-in-residence at Playa Home in Summer Lake, Oregon, Ms. Crispin created Willow Pod, seen above, a living willow and red osier dogwood basket. The juxtaposition of basket and landscape reminds her, she says, of the Japanese concept of wabi, “a lonely sense of impermanence.” It is perhaps appropriate that all she need say in explanation of the piece is a single word, all others failing. Isn’t that, after all, why we create visual art in the first place: because explanations, summaries, generalizations–words–simply aren’t enough.” ~Luke Fannin

COST:  $50 plus $25 material fee (Please pay material fee directly to the instructor.)

BRING: scissors, checkbook box (for a mold), awl, water bottle, old towel, and please bring a sack lunch and/or snack. Hot tea and coffee provided.

All workshops are open to the public.

All Skill Levels Welcome. Open to students age 16 and up.

RSVP via or 360-642-2542

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