Enriching lives through art and craft

Jackie Abrams

Jackie Abrams
Boulders, 2019
Painted cotton paper
6x13x10″ (red) 9x11x10″ (copper)

I have been a fiber artist since 1975. Using and adapting well-practiced basket-making skills, shaping vessels that contain and share space has always been a joy for me.

I create vessels with texture and color, in forms that are woven, stitched, layered, and constructed as distinct individuals. Each vessel can stand alone, or can be connected and related with other pieces in support and unity, often representing a community of women with stories to share.

I collaborate with each piece as it develops, working intuitively, allowing a dialogue to emerge, with the colors and textures of the materials informing the vessels as I create them. My materials include archival and recycled papers, sand, acrylic paint, silk and cotton fabrics, wire, recycled plastic bags, encaustic wax, thread, buttons, stones, and more.

As an educator, my craft development workshops with women in Africa and Central America have had a profound influence on my art and on my life. I have learned to simplify, to let the forms and the materials speak for themselves. The fabrics, the colors, the earth, and the people continue to impact the vessels I create, yielding richness and diversity.

Jackie has been a basketmaker since 1975, when she first apprenticed to an 81-year-old traditional white ash basketmaker. Since 1990, she has been exploring plaiting techniques, the use of heavy cotton paper as a material, and the possibilities of contemporary basketry. She exhibits her work at shows, galleries, and museums, and has been highlighted in numerous fiber arts and fine craft books. Her work is represented in many collections, most notably the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of Scotland. She has received grants from both the Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Community Foundation. She teaches throughout the US and in Guatemala, UK, Australia, Canada, and Ghana. Jackie lives in southern Vermont.



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