Katherine Lewis is a willow basket maker in the Skagit Valley of Washington State, USA. She has a small farm where she and her husband Steve Lospalluto grow much of the willow used in her baskets allowing her to choose the quality, color, and texture of her weaving materials. Although willow is a common basketry material throughout the world, she is one of a few who are actively growing and crafting their own willow baskets in the United States.
She has taken courses in willow basketry from accomplished basketmakers from England, France, Poland, Scotland, Switzerland, Wales and the US. She traveled to the UK in 2004 and 2006 to study with basketmakers and tour the willow growing areas. In 2006 she also went to the Loire Valley in France to learn more about the willow basketmaking traditions there. Katherine headed back to Europe in 2011 to visit several basketry festivals and willow basketmakers in France, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and Czech Republic. In 2015 she represented the USA at the World Willow and Weaving Festival in Nowy Tomyśl, Poland.
From the harvest of the basketry willow to the finished baskets, the work is all done by hand by Katherine and Steve. While the techniques used are traditional, each piece is unique and not bound to any specific tradition. Katherine’s goal is to weave willow baskets that are useful and durable while reflecting the natural beauty of the willows.
In 2011, Katherine was honored to have several of her baskets acquired by the Smithsonian American Art Museum as a result of a generous donation by basket collectors Steve Cole and Martha Ware. Katherine’s work was represented in the Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America exhibit which traveled to nine different venues from 2017-2019. This history of American basketry was also presented in a book by curators Jo Stealey and Kristin Schwain.
These photos represent a sample of Katherine’s work. Please remember that every basket is unique. Please note that many of the photos are old. We hope to update the gallery with more current photos soon. Have a look at the ‘baskets in stock’ page to see more current work.
Each basket is handcrafted by Katherine Lewis and prices will vary somewhat depending on the order. Customers can make a preference for colors and some other attributes. Do keep in mind that the colors are all natural and variable by nature. Greens and browns are the predominate colors.
Please contact us with questions. We accept payment by check, PayPal, or credit card. We will ship baskets with the buyer paying the necessary costs of shipping and packaging (and sales tax if you live in Washington). Please contact us to order and for an estimate of the total cost including shipping. (We do not have an on-line order form.) We prefer e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember that a willow basket will take some time to plan and prepare the materials, but the finished product will last a lifetime. Need it today? If you would like to see photos of willow baskets we have in stock, click here for the web page.
- “Thank you, Katherine. I could not have hoped for anything more beautiful. It’s a work of supreme craftsmanship. I look forward to using it.”
- “I gave my wife the beautiful basket you made last night and she loved it. Thank you so much. It is beautiful and well-made. It definitely helped to make our 9th anniversary special.”
- “An exquisite piece, beautiful color. The pictures of the basket did not reveal the exceptional shape and color. I love the basket.”
- “Just wanted you to know the basket arrived safely today. I absolutely love it! It is just what I was looking for, and it got it’s first workout this morning. Perfect size!”
- “The baskets are amazing! The color is even more lovely than I’d expected, darker and richer looking. I opened them immediately, checked the fit (perfect), and promptly filled them up. I can’t believe what a relief it is to have a previously unusable space become usable. I wish I’d had these for the last two years we’ve lived in this house! They arrived in immaculate condition, and I can’t thank you enough for taking the time for this order.”
- “Baskets came though in fine shape and are beautiful. We are so happy to be able to give them as gifts. It has been a pleasure working with you.”
- “I just received my large garden basket, which was my Mother’s Day gift from my husband and the kids, and I just have to tell you how beautiful it is! I’ve always wanted a big, beautiful garden basket and this was it!”
- “I am late in letting you know that your bassinet arrived safe and sound. M and S love it, of course! This will be the third baby in the family to enjoy the comfort of a willow bassinet. My niece reused the bassinet you made for her in 2010 for her son who was born in February of this year. I consider you a part of the family now!”