Today marks six years since fiber artist Priscilla Henderson died at her home in Guilford, Connecticut on August 7, 2004. She was 62. Her work was recognized nationally and is included in many private collections and museums, including the Rhode Island School of Design, Wustum Museum, Erie Museum and the Jack Lenor Larsen private collection. She was featured in many publications including numerous profiles in FIBERARTS and American Craft Magazine.
Working in concert with her husband Lee, various woodworking techniques including marquetry, turning, carving and finishing were combined with basketry techniques. Her designs and their blended talents in execution developed a cohesive style and a body of work that was truly her own. In addition to the high level craftsmanship there is a component of commentary on gender and other issues in society in her pieces.
"The baskets I make are considered to fall in the category of contemporary work. Within that category I see two types of baskets - I make baskets that are all about form and good craftsmanship as well - and I make baskets that show concern about a particular topic, for instance a dowry basket which addresses the responsibilities of women within the framework of marriage, or a tea set which deals with issues surrounding the safety and anonymity of women in a modern world. I have made baskets which deal with 'Feeding America - the Industrial Way' of 'Women as Menders' both of these approaches combined make up the body of work I think of as my own."
I had the pleasure of working with Priscilla on several projects including exhibits and publications. She was the consummate professional in each of those instances. I wish I had the opportunity to have known her better. Her work and her life made a lasting impression on me. American basketry lost someone important that day in 2004. She is gone too soon, but not forgotten. My sincere and continuing condolences to her friends and family.