Modern Easter baskets can be any size, shape or color

Oklahoma artist Pauline Asbury takes an art form steeped in Oklahoma heritage and designs original modern-day baskets.
BY ANNETTE PRICE Published: March 27, 2012
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“Everybody has to have some ‘me' time somewhere, whether it's cooking or reading, gardening or golfing, whatever it is, you have to have your own thing, and baskets just happen to be mine. It is something that I just really love doing and enjoy the challenge of different baskets and styles, and seeing what I can come up with,” Asbury said.

Last year, Asbury resolved to weave 365 different kinds of baskets and accomplished her goal by December. She credits her years as an elementary teacher for the deaf for her quick hands.

“I'm a very, very fast weaver,” Asbury said. “My fingers were used to moving after signing for 34 years. That makes a huge difference.”

Now retired from Oklahoma City Public Schools, Asbury is using her education background to teach basketry to adults. She teaches classes at Sandy Springs Farm in Hinton. Tuition includes all weaving materials plus a buffalo meal from the ranch.

“Some people make some really simple baskets and some people make some complicated ones, said James Stepp of Sandy Springs Farm.

Asbury also teaches basketry as a heritage skill at Spirit Horse Ranch in Jones. She includes styles with Oklahoma roots in her classes, but said baskets are as individual as their weavers.

“Baskets know your mood. I can teach a class of 10 people with the Cherokee double-wall, and no two baskets will come out the same shape,” Asbury said. “You're completely shaping the basket, and if you've had a stressful day, you can make a really tight one, tall and slender, and other days you can just weave way out, almost like a paper plate holder.”



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