October Workshop in Chicago

On October 13th, Eric is teaching a workshop outside of Chicago in Oak Park, Illinois. This will be a fun workshop since it is being hosted by my sister. She also lives smack-dab in the middle of the Frank Lloyd Wright tour, in Oak Park, outside of Chicago, so if you’re a fan of this architect and craftsman’s work, you can simply walk outside her house and see his work! Or, you could walk two blocks to his old studio and book an hour tour during lunch and explore the neighborhood. It is really beautiful.

Eric will also be doing something different… he’s hosting an Open House the night before the workshop. So if you cannot attend on Saturday but would like to meet Eric and see some of his work, or just say “hello,” stop by on Friday Night! Simply drop me an email at lynne@thebasketmakerswife.com so I can make sure we have plenty of cocktails to serve! I bet a lot of you do not know that Eric enjoys making me cocktail concoctions that are his own recipes. And they are yummy! So I will be serving those up to guests that attend the Open House. See you there!

Five Questions Friday: Faaabulaaaas…

Q: Any advice for couples who want to both work from home?
If you can, don’t do it.  Ah, before I get in trouble, I’m just kidding! I’d say honestly, to have your own office and/or workspace. And develop your own routine that isn’t based on your partner’s since everyone works differently.

Q: If you could look inside the studio of any artist or craftsman, either still with us or not, who would it be?
Eric: First person that comes to mind is Frank Llyod Wright. I don’t know why but he fascinates me. I would want to be a fly on the wall during his prime. How big of an SOB was he? Just sounds like it would make a great reality tv show if he was alive today.

Q: What decade or style inspires you?
Eric: I love Art Deco.

Q: You are such a diligent artist and extremely productive. Any advice on how I (and others) can get out of a creative rut?
Eric: I remember Tom Petty talking about how Stevie Nicks was telling him that she was having writer’s block and wasn’t coming up with new material. Tom basically told her to just sit down and start writing. Simple advice but true. Creativity usually comes out as you put the work in. Sometimes you have to force yourself to create. I can’t tell you how many of my new basket designs have been driven by the deadline for a workshop proposal.  (editor’s note: Oh, so that’s my problem – I have to actually work! Oy.)

Q: Now to your most favorite question — what annoyed you this week?
Eric: You and your new imitation of Miller from Market Warriors. I’ve only seen the show a few times because I find her irritating and now you’re talking like the Connecticut socialite she thinks she is. I can’t believe tax payer dollars are going to this PBS crap! And that Miller has not disjointed her jaw by now. (editor’s note: Oh come ooooaaaan. You know you laaave Millaaaaa. She is faaaabulaaaas.)

How Did He Create Those Handles?

When Eric teaches a basket that has his personally-designed ear handles (such as his pencil basket, cottage business card or mountain tubs), I get this question a lot: “How did he create those handles.?”

All I can say, is that he came up with the design about six years ago and basically, it comes down to a pencil and a piece of cherry wood. He draws the handle outline on wood and then he painstakingly cuts it out and shapes every single handle. Very time-consuming but important to point out that EVERY piece in one of Eric’s baskets or basket kits are designed and created by him. I’m still in awe of his work and his craft.