Bay Area Basket Makers, Baskets and Gourds: Traditional and Beyond


The Bay Area Basket Makers (BABM) guild was founded in 1984 by Maxine Kirmeyer and Jude Silva to support and further interest in basketry as a craft and art form. The guild serves as a source of information and as a means of communication among basketmakers, providing inspiration and friendship. We welcome basketmakers of all levels and expertise, from amateurs to professionals.

At present, our guild has 78 members–most reside in the greater San Francisco Bay Area but a few live as far away as Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon and Utah. Our members have ranged in age from 16 to one member who just turned 102. Some of our members specialize in traditional basket making, some embrace structural / non-functional baskets and some are drawn to baskets that would be considered avant-garde.

To create their baskets, members of the Bay Area Basket Makers use a wide variety of materials, from the traditional reed, splint, pine needles, plants, kelp, paper, and gourds to more exotics like hog gut, fish skin and fish bones, horsehair, fleece, wire and wire mesh, to reusable finds of plastic bags and yarns – employed in techniques of coiling, plaiting, twining, knotting, looping, felting, randing, and more.


Exhibiting artists:

Toni Best

Nancy Briemle

Bob Darchi

Andrea Duflon

Jutta Frankie

Eugenia Gwathney

Chris Johnson

Lynn Kelleher

Lorraine Oller

Orna Pascal

Amanda Salm

Barbara Shapiro

Jill Stanton

Jan Wittman


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