Sunday, February 9, 2014

Just Wow Number 2!

You will recognize the name of this winner as she entered two baskets.  Katie Strachan calls this one The Garden and I really enjoyed not only the subtle coloring of the basket and its components but the very careful references to traditional baskets, as explained by her paragraph description.  Katie let me know that there are a few details that are planned to be added to the figure, including lace edgings to make the costume look more 17th century.  Hopefully we can get Katie to send us an update photo when she is finished primping her little figure.  But the basket was totally lovely without!  I love the handles.

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 wine
The luscious clusters of the vine Upon my mouth do crush their wine ;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach
The 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[ii] miniature is actually in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum, also home to some beaded baskets.[iii] (first photo)


  1. Once again, WOW! I've been looking forward to this one since I saw the original plan sketched on the CoC Ning site. Beautiful execution of a 17th century concept!