Mother Earth Living

Patterned on Nature: Donna Sakamoto Crispin

A basketmaker weaves natural and multicultural influences into her pieces.
By Rebecca Ragain
March/April 2008
Add to My MSN

Weaver Donna Sakamoto Crispin uses grasses, leaves, bark and twigs to create baskets and other three-dimensional sculptures.
--LANNY SEVERSON
Slideshow


Content Tools

Related Content

The Newest Addition to the Garden: Raised Beds

Guest blogger and novice gardener Shelley Moore gets creative when the raised beds she orders for he...

A Flax Basket: Do-It-Yourself

Try making this natural, sturdy bread basket out of flax.

Green Art Spotlight: 2009 Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships

The 2009 Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado, displayed i...

Natural Product Review: Hugo Naturals Sea Salt and Sugar Scrub

Reveal fresh, healthy skin with Hugo Naturals Sea Salt and Sugar Scrub in Sea Fennel and Passionflow...

Earth-inspired art: Since 1986, Donna Sakamoto Crispin has been creating contemporary baskets that incorporate Pacific Northwest indigenous techniques, Japanese aesthetics, and materials and inspiration from the natural world. Her work ranges from baskets of handmade paper and cedar bark to life-size figures woven from willow branches.

Melding cultures: To master traditional techniques, Sakamoto Crispin attends workshops by Japanese and aboriginal instructors. "The influence from other cultures isn’t something I take lightly," says Sakamoto Crispin, a third-generation Japanese American. "I try to be respectful."

Home grown: Sakamoto Crispin hand-gathers about 80 percent of her basketry materials. She grows several willow species in her garden for the twigs, and she harvests leaves from daylily and iris plants. Weaving materials fill two bedrooms of her Eugene, Oregon, home.

Wild gathered: With the landowners’ permission, Sakamoto Crispin collects sedge and cattail in the wild. She’s also part of a regional basketry guild that harvests bark from cedar trees marked for logging. Otherwise, the bark is removed and discarded when the trees arrive at the mill.

Nature as muse: Regional knowledge also informs her work. "During a lecture by a Pacific Northwest Native American woman, I got the image in my head of making a cedar-bark salmon," Sakamoto Crispin says. "Cedar and salmon are both integral to her culture." She donates 10 percent of her salmon-figure profits to a fish-conservation organization.

Passing it on: Sakamoto Crispin regularly teaches basketry at arts centers. "I like being able to show people how to use their local resources," she says. "They don’t have to go out and buy things to make something beautiful."

Online gallery: View Sakamoto Crispin’s artwork at www.DonnaSakamotoCrispin.com.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.