Priscilla Henderson : A Dream Weaver Remembered

Priscilla Henderson (13 Jul 1942 - 07 Aug 2004)
Can it be that another year has gone by since contemporary basketmaker Priscilla Henderson passed from us? Priscilla for those who did not know her, designed original works with a spare, contemporary look that have oriental leanings. She used lacquered hardwoods in combination with small gauge rattan cane woven as insets among the hardwood frames.

"From the outset, my work has demanded a contemporary spare and high contrast treatment to maintain its integrity. My primary interest is in design and it is that factor, rather than function, size, materials or personal expression, which dictates a piece. The line of the work is terribly important to me."

Sea Urchin Encased, 1987

  "I am committed to the innovations of contemporary basketry, while honoring my background in traditional craftsmanship. I like a strong form, pieces with visible bones."

Rattan, maple hardwood, cotton, acrylics, lacquers; 1997
11" x 17.5" x 17"
 "It is the potential of each piece to stand alone as a structural representation of both inspiration and the utmost standards of workmanship that maintains me as a full time, studio fiber artist."

I pause today to remember her along with the many American basketmakers who have gone on to weave in a place beyond.

Woman as Vessel (Service for One)
A basketry-woven wicker and painted maple tea garniture.
The service comprised of: tall tea pot with lift-off cover,
cup and saucer with pierced bowl spoon, double handled tray.
Sold in 2008 for $3,368.75
I am interested in further documenting Priscilla's basketry career. If you have personal recollections of her, articles, reviews, press mentions or photographs of her work, I would be grateful if you passed them on to me. 

Priscilla has been featured in many articles and reviews of her work including: 

Dream weaver: The basketry of Priscilla Henderson is craft Elevated to art, filled with esteem (Chicago Tribune) 12 July 1992

Henderson, Priscilla
American Basketry at Arrowmont (Dorothy Joiner). Mar/Apr 2000: 61
Banaker Baskets. Jan/Feb 1994: 61
Basketry: A Portfolio. Vol. 15, No. 1, 1988: 28-40
New Baskets: A Portfolio. Summer 1992: 16-21
Priscilla Henderson: Pattern & Poise (Susan Tamulevich). Sept/Oct 1998: 43-47

An earlier post about Priscilla and more posts in the Basketmakers Identity Project

Far more information about baskets and the makers who create them can be found at BasketMakers.com.

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