This basket was designed to complement/go inside my casket, representing Andrew Marvell’s poem “The Garden”.[i]
What wondrous life is this I lead! Ripe apples drop about my head ;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wineThe luscious clusters of the vine Upon my mouth do crush their wine ;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reachThe nectarine and curious peach Into my hands themselves do reach ;
Stumbling on melons as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.Stumbling on melons as I pass, Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
The stumpwork figure in the basket is Marvell, reclining in his beaded garden with the curious peach (bottom center), ensnared in flowers. The figure was specifically inspired by Hilliard’s miniature of a young man in a garden.[ii] I built structure of basket after the round/oval originals (round Fitzwilliam basket, the Corning museum oval basket), with straight supports and no netting, used lots of elements to instead give the illusion of sides.[iii] Many of the elements were patterned after flowers found on the Corning museum basket, which also inspired the color scheme. The stumpwork figure of Tiny Marvell is also like the figures found on many basket bottoms, but with a twist. He’s not attached to the basket and can be taken out, like a doll – a combination of casket toy and lover’s token.
[i] Full text of poem available at http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/marvell/garden.htm[ii] http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/Henry_percy_hi.jpgThis miniature is actually in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum, also home to some beaded baskets.[iii] http://www.flickr.com/photos/aimeedars/2776643760/in/pool-18927983@N00/http://plays-with-needles.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-tisket-tasket.html (first photo)