Monday, August 13, 2012

Inspiration Monday: Billie Ruth Sudduth

It's been called MAD: Multiple Artist Disorder. And, yes indeed, I have MAD (notice I didn't say that I am MAD). If you've followed my blog long enough, you'll have noticed that I dabble in many creative areas: printmaking, painting, embroidery, beading, jewelry making, photography, writing...I'm also a basket maker. Most of my basket weaving has taken place at Tennessee Basketry Association conferences that I've gone to with my husband and mother-in-law who are more proficient at it than I am. I tend to get a bit frustrated with all those unwieldy pieces not bending in the direction I want them to go. That's not to say that I haven't made some pretty wonderful baskets with some great instructors at those conventions, just that I don't usually weave on my own.

For those in the basket world, Billie Ruth Sudduth is a maker to emulate and admire. Her basket prowess is well recognized as her work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution and New York's Museum of Art and Design. The shapes of her baskets are just wonderful. Made without a mold, all of the shaping is done by hand, pulling the damp reed into place to create the 4 feet of the cats head at the bottom, the wider curves of the center, and tightening to the much smaller rim.

Illusions basket by Billie Ruth Sudduth

I've used some of our own baskets to create  linoleum block prints - the woven patterns and negative spaces really lend themselves to the medium. I've also made some Carolina Snowflakes like this one, though I made them from wired ribbon rather than fighting with the basket reed. I think a linocut of one of these snowflakes might be in my future.

Carolina Snowflake by Billie Ruth Sudduth

It's sometimes hard to decide where to start in creating patterns that make sense for baskets or any other geometric medium. In this case, Billie Ruth took inspiration from the Fibonacci Sequence to create the basket pattern, creating an unusual pattern, but based on a repeatable formula. I'm inspired by these beautiful and unusual baskets with wonderful shapes.

Fibonacci in Reverse basket by Billie Ruth Sudduth
(All images are the works of Billie Ruth Sudduth. Visit Billie Ruth's Etsy shop to see more of  her work or click on the links above. The works featured on Inspiration Monday are those that I enjoy and I have not been compensated in any way to include them on my blog.)

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