Never Met a Material She Couldn’t Weave: Basketry Artist Cathie Harper

20 July 2022
image description: a three quarters head and shoulders portrait of a white woman wearing glasses
By Cynthia Levy
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Cathie Harper has never met a material she couldn’t weave. A basketry artist based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Cathie creates functional and decorative pieces using traditional and modern fibres and findings. Her most recent achievement is a solo exhibition titled Interwoven, showcasing almost fifty pieces of her work. It will be displayed at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife from June to early December, 2022.

Cathie made her first basket in 1979 using commercial reed and a wooden base. She didn’t keep that basket but was intrigued by the process of basket weaving. When she relocated to Yellowknife in 1996, Cathie was encouraged to join the Yellowknife Guild of Arts and Crafts. She enrolled in a willow basketry class thinking that her time in Yellowknife would be short and basketry would require less investment than other disciplines like pottery or stained glass. Fast forward more than twenty-five years and Cathie, still in Yellowknife, has made a considerable investment in basketry tools and materials!

Images courtesy of Cathie Harper.

image description: a three quarters head and shoulders portrait of a white woman wearing glasses

About Cynthia Levy

Cynthia Levy is a craft enthusiast and knitting designer living in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories but originally from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Recently retired from a career in law, she now makes time each day to indulge obsessions for knitting, weaving, quilting, pottery and more. Whenever the weather permits, she’ll be found outside exploring the northern wilderness by floatplane or snowmobile. See more of her work at www.redtigerdesigns.weebly.com.

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