Once a little, wild fairy-child on a shuttered dairy farm in rural Oregon, Betsy grew up stitching and finding art in nature. Her mom was an avid believer that her daughters should at least know how to do handwork, even if they never enjoyed it. Betsy didn’t enjoy it; stitching was a drag and a chore, but then it became the craft that wouldn’t die. Now she’s moved embroidery out of the hoop and onto the 3-dimensional objects which she collects and hoards. These stitched objects appear often in larger work.
Now a long-time Sacramento resident, Betsy received formal arts training in painting, drawing, and ceramics in high school and earned a BA in Humanities/Religious Studies at CSUS in the mid-90s. She spent a decade as a database and web programmer in the lobby industry before transitioning to information management in the new cannabis market. All the while, Betsy has maintained a presence within the local weaving and fiber arts community. This unusual blend has prompted Betsy to ask questions about the intersection of technology and science within traditional craftways.
Betsy stumbled across basketry only a short time ago, but immediately felt that this was the medium that was perfect for her expression of art. A blend of ancient technology with an endless opportunity to express modern sensibilities, baskets are at their core useful tools, objects to be handled and valued for their function. By working in basketry, Betsy is able to invite the viewer to touch and interact with and experience pieces in a visceral manner. Incorporating her exploration of locally-derived color sources, Betsy’s baskets push past the merely functional into artworks that are complex and pleasing while maintaining a connection to human cultural origins. Colors are primarily sourced from the natural world, from mushrooms and insects to pigmented soils gathered throughout the Northern California region.