Meet Maralee Wisewomyn - Basket Weaver

I am a multimedia artist who particularly enjoys basket weaving, including sculptural pieces. The fibers I use are primarily locally gathered bull whip kelp, and the leaves, stems and shoots of local land plants. I adorn with sea plants, driftwood, shells, nuts and seeds. My baskets can be utilitarian or art objects representative of the Northwest Pacific Coast.

Maralee Wisewomyn - Basket Weaver

Maralee Wisewomyn - Basket Weaver

The kelp baskets are very labor intensive, involving 7 steps. I usually gather the kelp after it has dried on the beach, soak it so that I can make it into rings to store, and dry it completely, When I am ready to weave a basket, I soak it, weave it, and dry it once again after it is woven. Then I apply oil to it to bring out color and help preserve the kelp.  As the final stage I thoroughly dry it once again.

I am overjoyed when the conditions of kelp and weather are just right and I can sit on the beach and weave kelp baskets! I love working with kelp and it always has it's say in how the basket turns out--which delights me, being it's co-creator. No two baskets are ever the same.