One of Eric’s students said we must stop by Tim Parson’s Basket Shop before we leave. So that’s what we did. We took out the car for the short drive to a secluded road with a small sign that simply said “THE BASKET SHOP.”
Nantucket Basketmaker Tim Parsons has been teaching classes for 23 years and over three thousand students. That is a lot of students! I love visiting other artist’s studios so this was a treat for me as well.
Above are images of molds and templates from Tim’s studio.
Here’s Tim showing Eric his workshop area. They are discussing his dust collection system.
Above are student projects. His workshop is an open-weave. You buy the basket and you can stop by anytime during shop hours to weave and get any help from Tim — all at your own pace. I love that concept.
Tim has a great sense of humor. Here he is showing us his very unique and one-and-only Nantucket toilet plunge basket cover! Eric got some great laughs out of that one.
Thanks Tim for letting us pop in unannounced and showing us around your workshop!
While Eric was teaching, I went on my own excursion. My first stop? To the Nantucket Hospital Thrift Store of course! Before we arrived here, I asked Eric “Do you think they have any thrift stores on the island?” He instantly said, “No way. I doubt it.” But leave it to me to find a thrift store anywhere!
I spent about an hour inside. And it was packed with other shoppers. And I think there were more men in there than women, perusing the racks of golf shirts, beach shorts and t-shirts.
I found a pair of very white casual sneakers, a seashell motif linen scarf, a floral blouse and this awesome, perfectly-weathered hat! A steal at $2! Who could pass up this hat? Not me!
It will be perfect back in Tennessee when tending the garden over the hot summers. My other straw hat was too heavy. This one is very lightweight and will be much more comfortable.
Speaking of thrift items, while on our way to the Basket Museum, we came across a two-day “flash sale” hosted by a local auction house. Jackpot! We walked out with this, as a remembrance of our trip to Nantucket (which doesn’t have anything to do with the island, at least I don’t think so!).
It is a grasshopper pewter something…. maybe a planter? It’s about 18 inches in length. It was sitting amongst colonial knick-knacks and with a quick look at the $20 price tag, we said “We’re buying this.” Eric is thinking about planting some cacti which I think would be very cool. Especially since us and house plants don’t tend to have a long relationship. A nice Cactus may be perfect. A shoutout to my vintage and antique expert Karen in Maine, do you have any information on this piece? I’ve never seen anything like it.
After all the walking we did, it was nice to come back to the 99 Main Street house and work on my Nantucket puzzle. I bought this puzzle a few weeks ago and didn’t finish it so I rolled it up and brought it to my sister’s house. But due to the change of plans with me going to Eric’s workshop at Camp Tuck instead, we ended up bringing it to the island with us. What better place to work on a Nantucket puzzle than on Nantucket?
And the living room was the perfect spot to set it up — next to the windows looking out at the backyard and feeling the cool breeze. And as you can see, I did finish it. If you are into puzzles, this was a good one. A 1,000 pieces and it’s a fun and bright map illustration of the island and all the shops and things to do. And the pieces were not flimsy, good quality. (I’ll put a link below for the puzzle-people.)
Overall, it’s been a great time on the island. Eating out is way more expensive than what we are used to on an artist’s budget. So we spent a few nights in making our own sandwiches here at the house and settling on a granola bar for breakfast. It has worked out perfectly. And we are very grateful for the wonderful New England weather. It’s been fabulous.
Below is where I bought the above Puzzle I put together. If you are into puzzles, this was a fun one to do! The artist is Marshall Peck and the company who makes the puzzle is White Mountain Puzzles – which I have quite a few from. They are good quality.