Today I visited the Denver Art Museum. My camera ran hot and I have selected a few delicious art pieces to share with you. I was really taken with the delicacy of these grass baskets from the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
Language: Unangam Tunuu (Attuan dialect)
When you pick it you say a little prayer, thanking the grass for letting us have some of it, and that we won’t abuse it…It’s easier to weave if it is moist. If it’s not so moist it breaks all the time. You have to do that as you go along. We usually keep a little glass of water to dip our fingers in.
—Maria Turnpaugh, 2003
Grass storage baskets were traditionally made to hold dried fish, roots, and meat; other types were for gathering beach foods and plants. Small, round, lidded baskets like this one were invented in the nineteenth century and made primarily for sale. Designs were added using dyed grass, split spruce root, silk embroidery thread, and yarn. Grass for baskets is gathered in the summer on coastal hillsides; the weaver bundles, ages, sorts, dries, and splits the stems to prepare them. At least eight weaving patterns are historically known.
I loved this display. I thought you might find it interesting too.
In Denver people were asked to donate a blanket with a small story attached to it. The Artist Marie Watt’s work is centered around community, particularly through her use of wool blankets. As with many of her projects, she looks for blankets that hold meanings and memories. The blankets donated are folded and stacked to create a blanket sculpture. As part of donating a blanket to this project, there is a tag attached to the blanket documenting the particular story.