Time for “Eric Answers Five Questions on Friday” and a couple questions I received in person while I was at the convention on Thursday.
Why do you think more men are not involved in the craft of basketry and do you wish there were more men in your classes?
Eric: Oh boy. I could get into trouble with this one. I need to think before I answer.(After a long pause…) This could be long, but I will try and summarize. I think because basket making is categorized more under “weaving” which falls in line with quilting, knitting, etc. it is viewed as a “women’s hobby.” If it was categorized more to the wood-working side than weaving, then that would attract more men. That’s probably why my baskets involve more woodworking — I’m attracted to the skills and design with emphasis on the materials. So to your second question, I always enjoy having men in my class. But I don’t necessarily wish there were more men because it’s always a lot of fun being the only guy in a room full of women.
You received a gift today from one of your students. What was it and do you like it?
Eric: Oh. This student was Christy Newman. Somehow she remembered that one of my favorite shows was American Pickers (about the store Antique Archaeology) and she went out and bought me a shirt with their logo. But I wore it so much, including in the workshop where my wife told me not to wear it or I would ruin it, that it is now pretty ratty. And I’ve been banned from Mrs. Basketmaker in wearing it while teaching classes and I guess she blogged about this t-shirt. Christy read it and bought me a new shirt from Antique Archaeology that says “Rock the Rust.” I like it. It’s cool.
(editor’s note: Christy got me some cool soap and an even cooler vintage Kaleidoscope! It has great 80′s graphics that I love! And thanks for the mini ketchup you swiped at dinner!)
What’s your most embarrassing convention moment?
Eric: A few years back I was at a convention where I won the Viewer’s Choice Award and had no idea. I found out Sunday morning from a student who was congratulating me. And then I said “for what?” I was so embarrassed because I was not at the meeting and I should have been.
(editor’s note: You know, I think I remember this one. I was at my sister’s in Chicago and he called me about this. I reprimanded him harshly. I do not believe he has missed a meeting since – at least the ones I have accompanied him on).
Have you ever banned anyone from one of your classes?
Eric: Yes. One. However, she didn’t get the ‘memo’ because she showed up at one of my workshops in another city eight months later.
When do you think you will be cutting your hair?
Eric: I cannot give an exact date but I’ve been told that I need to cut it before it starts turning gray.
(Editor’s note: Uhmmm… Eric, I don’t think you look in the mirror too often because you have plenty of gray hair. I think it started quite awhile back. But I will say, you have a lot less gray hair than me! So I am jealous.)