Tuesday, January 11, 2011

American Indian Handmade Basket Collection

Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend the day with Norma Prickett, a well known “Gourd Doll” artist (aka: Stillwater Designs).  Her beautiful “American Indian Inspired Gourd Dolls” are being featured in an upcoming Spring 2011 issue of “Art Doll Quarterly” magazine.  Norma has a fabulous eye for color and you will enjoy seeing these amazing dolls when the magazine hits the bookstores.  Each of these dolls has her own unique personality, which is expressed through the color palate, patterns, and accessories she creates for each one. If you would like to view her work in person, she was also at the “Artistic License Fair" (October 29th and 30th) in Costa Mesa, CA. She had some of her jewelry work available for sale there, along with other pieces that she has created.
Here is a  peek at one her jewelry box gourds:
And one of her very cute "Apple Gourds" that she is selling at the show.
You can see what a talented and versatile artist she truly is.  Anyway, during our interview, Norma mention that she was inspired by the southwest.  She spends a lot of time there and wanted to reflect her love of the southwest through some of her “Gourd Dolls”. .  Below is a sneak peek of one of her dolls.
While we were on that subject, I noticed she has a beautiful Native American Art collection.  The cool thing about this collection is she personally picked out each item not just for its beauty but because she wanted to support the tribes efforts to continue their traditions and keep handing them down from generation to generation.

Each item has a very special memory and was purchased while her husband and her were on one of their many motorcycle trips through the southwest (with the exception of the Apache Baskets).  Additionally, since she was traveling via “motorcycle” she was challenged to pick pieces that would survive this mode of travel and the very limited luggage space. See picture to left.

Norma enjoys sharing her Native American art collection with others and gave me permission to photograph it and post a few of the pictures on this blog.

The above picture:   This may be an Apache basket but Norma was not positive. She bought this at an Antique store in the southwest.

#2, This is a Tohono-o-odham basket.  The Tohono-o-odham,  are from southern Arizona, their ancesters were called Papago.  Their baskets are very distinctive and are made of dried yucca plant.   The materials used in the Tohono-o-dham baskets are native to the Sonora Desert Area.  They tend to use “Bear Grass” and “Devil’s Claw” in their basket making.

#3, All the above are Tohono-o-odham except the dark one.  That was Norma's own creation and first attempt at basket making, made from pine needles and  king  palm.  

#4, Both are Apache baskets

 #5, Tohono-o-odham.  The Tohono-o-odham are making a special effort to ensure that their basket weaving art is not lost from future generations.  They hold special classes to teach young children the art of basket making and keep their rich culture alive for the next generation

#6, large basket on left in back is Tohono-o-odham, two in the back on the right and the basket on the bottom left are made by the Hopi Tribe.   The small dark basket is made from horse hair and is Navajo

I thought I would add another sneak peek at a couple of her other projects that have been featured in magazines.  This doll is about color......and patterns...love it!

This necklace is  made from a gourd and she has combined beautiful precious stones with it.

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