NBO, Portland

As Michael Davis said, "well gang, welcome to Portland". The 2009 National Basketry Organization 10th Anniversary Conference was held in Portland, Oregon. Never mind that it was in the middle of a record breaking heatwave, with temperatures near or over one hundred degrees all week. The event was simply packed with basketry. Opening night we were treated to welcoming comments by NBO President, Michael Davis and Co-founder Helene Meyer. Then, Marci McDade, editor of Fiberarts Magazine delivered a keynote address entitled "Pushing the Known" and Jo Stealey, Professor at the University of Missouri presented a slide show called "Basketry Today:Boundaries, Borders & Edges".

Thursday morning started bright and early with a seminar Oregon's Diverse Basketry Traditions by Margaret (she who must not be named*), noted ethnobotanist.

Oregon's Diverse Basketry Traditions

Workshops began in earnest on Wednesday as well and you could find traditional, contemporary, native and non-native basketry instructors hard at work teaching their eager students.

Pat Courtney Gold's class
Student at work in Pat Courtney Gold's Wasco Indian Full turn twining workshop.

Katie Anderson teaches Love Me, Love Me Knot class
The students in Katie Anderson's Love Me, Love Me Knot workshop were knotting up a waxed linen storm and seemed to be having a great time.

student in Katie Anderson's Love Me, Love Me Knot class

Jo Stealey instructs Mary Lee Fulkerson in her Books, Baskets and Shrines class

Jo Stealey (right) instructs Mary Lee Fulkerson in her Books, Baskets and Shrines class.

Kelli Palmer teaches corn husk twining

Kelli Palmer teaches corn husk twining.

Thursday night had many of us hopping on two tour buses for a gallery tour to Butters Gallery, Bonnie Kahn's Wild West Gallery and Guardino Gallery.

Jo Stealey, Wendy Durfey at Guardino Gallery

Jo Stealey, Wendy Durfey at Guardino Gallery.

Michael Davis at NBO reception and Jiro Yonezawa exhibit at Butters Gallery

Michael Davis at NBO reception and Jiro Yonezawa bamboo basket exhibit at Butters Gallery

Friday night there was a great event at the Portland Art Museum. We had the chance to tour the exhibits of fabulous baskets in the collections of the Portland Art Museum. Pat Courtney Gold delivered a talk "Portland: The Ancient Homeland of the Powerful Chinook People", then Mary Schlick was assisted by Lillian Pitt in presenting her talk "Beautiful Usefullness: Native Baskets of the Columbia River Basin". The talks were a joint undertaking of the NBO, Portland Art Museum and Native American Arts Council. The samples Mary brought with her were magnificent.

Michael Davis, Helene Meyer and Marci McDade

Michael Davis, Helene Meyer and Marci McDade

Lillian Pitt, Mary Dodds Schlick
Lillian Pitt assists Mary Dodds Schlick

There were so many seminars and other events crammed into the week it would be hard to tell you about them all. Stop by my facebook album for more pictures of the 2009 NBO Conference and the NBO Playlist on the BasketMakers YouTube Channel to see several video clips.

*Margaret prefers not to have her name or photo on the web, so I am trying to respect her wishes at the same time sharing my enthusiasm about her work and plant knowledge. She is indeed a walking encyclopedia of Northern California and Pacific Northwest plant usage in basketry.


  1. This Margaret who has a website: http://www.ancientartscenter.com/about/ ?

  2. oh, Susi, what exquisite baskets! What a time you must have had! I am so envious. Thanks so much for the beautiful, large photos. I am on my way to your facebook page for more photos...you are so good to us! Thanks for "she who must not be named," too...i know who she is...

  3. Pamela:

    The trip would have been worth it just to get to visit with Margaret. I always enjoy spending time with her. :-)

  4. Steve:

    That's the one. (wink, wink) She was telling me about the new property she has purchased and how positive an impact she expects it to have on having folks visit for classes. If anyone is considering it, I can highly recommend her as a naturals basketry instructor.


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