Shelley Matousek

My passion for basketry developed from a love of using natural, organic and California native materials then combining them with other materials to create works of art.  “Nature provides everything we need if we just open our eyes and minds to the creative process”.

Pine needles can be collected, cleaned and used to make some amazing baskets.  I love to recycle whenever I can and recycling the pine needles is often just the beginning of the process.  Wood, agates, leather and even glass get a new life as art in many of my designs.

Using California native materials, such as native pine, manzanita, pine cones, and deer grasses in many of my works has developed into a search for native material that has brought with it many new adventures.

Many of my works are embellished with additional elements such as carefully crafted glass beads either my husband or I have made.  Our beads also come from other sources like Kenya’s Kitengela Glass Studio.

I recently expanded my work to include gourds as part of the basketry and as an art form in and of itself.  Each piece is a one-of-a-kind item as the organic materials shape their final design.  I find that pine needles and the gourds will tell me what they want to do, more than me making them do what I want.  Time and patience are a must.  I love working with gourds since they start out as Nature’s works of art.  With gourds there are so many techniques that the joy comes from finding just the right one for that special gourd.  “Coil art” is what I call the coiling on a rim of a gourd that has taken on a life of its own and become its own art.  I find it beautiful and an adventure.

Each piece takes on a life of its own.  Its own adventure.  I am just along for the ride, the love, and the passion.  Enjoy!


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