Annette Fourbears - Basketweaving
Annette Fourbears is an artist and master weaver of peyote stitch beaded baskets and of mixed Lenni Lanape (Delaware), Shawnee, Cherokee, and European heritage. On her property in Kitsap she raises and collects cedar, sweetgrass and pine needles which she decorates with fine beadwork in traditional designs. These designs reflect the heritage of the Eastern Woodland Indian people.
I weave primarily in wild-collected materials. Due to pollution in the old collecting spots, I now grow my own sweetgrass and bulrush. The materials are collected and processed in prayer and with good intention. I was taught that when I weave I must have good intentions and a positive attitude. I pray that the person who will own the basket will derive as much pleasure from it as I have had in making it. If I have a negative thought or a disagreement, I must stop working until that is resolved and I purify myself.
Basketweaver of wild collected natural materials, some with fine traditional beadwork.
Member of Northwest Native Basketweavers and Northwest Basket Weavers Guilds.
Red cedar bark is collected from June to August. Only a small swath is taken from the live tree and the tree survives. The outer bark is then separated from the inner bark while still in the woods. It is then rolled up and taken home to dry. The bark must mellow for over a year before it is cut in strips to weave.
Yellow cedar bark grows in Canada and Alaska. It is processed the same way as red cedar. Although I have collected this in the wild, it is rare to get the opportunity, so I rely on native friends to supply it when I run short.
Pine needles are collected in early fall. I usually collect these on my own property. I dry them then bake them in a solution of glycerin and water to make them pliable and to preserve them. The style of pine needle basket I make was taught to me by a Paiute master I met at a NW Native Basketweavers gathering. I am now considered a master weaver of beaded pine needle baskets.
Bulrush (tule) and sweetgrass are collected in late August. The material is bundled and dried for about a month. It is rewetted and mellowed in a towel for a few hours before it can be woven.
I sometimes use bear grass, maidenhair fern or giant horsetail root for ornamentation. These are collected from Oregon or the other side of the Cascades. Sometimes I purchase these materials from friends in NW Native Basketweavers.
I also us commercial glass beads and waxed linen. I sometimes use commercial cane as the river cane used in Cherokee style baskets will not grow in Washington and is almost extinct in the woodlands of the eastern United States.
Front Street Gallery - An Artists' Co-op
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