Donna Sakamoto Crispin

Eugene, Oregon, USA

I have been weaving baskets and other fiber art for 28 years. My college degrees are in Sociology and Education, so I don’t have formal art training. However, I’ve taken all kinds of basketry workshops offered throughout the Northwest and other classes at our local craft center. I have found that my style of basket weaving is enhanced by trying out a variety of crafts, such as weaving, ceramics or jewelry.

Through the years, I have synthesized the information from many workshop experiences, studying books and other basket weavers. Northwest Native American basketry and Japanese culture, especially basketry, have also been extremely important influences. One of my favorite weaving materials is western red cedar bark, which is a highly prized resource of local basket weavers. I have collected my own cedar bark in nearby forests and I make my own strips, which involves hours of tedious preparation. I honor traditional collecting methods, which allow for conservation of our natural materials.

Many of my pieces incorporate aspects of Japanese basketry. Since I am a third generation Japanese-American, I try to find ways to integrate Japanese culture into my work. Although Japanese basketry is mostly woven bamboo, I don’t have access to the proper materials and tools so I find other ways to integrate the techniques and aesthetics into my fiber art.

Landscapes and nature in general have always been an important part of my perception and application to artwork. I have had the luxury of living and working in some of the most beautiful places in the West and their memories can be seen in my weaving.

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