On October 14, 2017, Billy Owens, a fellow basketmaker & teacher, along with his wife Theresa, had a house fire. They lost their entire home and everything in it.
His basket workshop (and livelihood) is okay, but unfortunately, him and his wife lost many treasures inside their home. A close friend of his set up a Go Fund Me Page to help out with emergency supplies.
If you have taken a class with Billy or know who he is, I thought I would post a link to the “fund-me” page to let everyone know of this unfortunate tragedy and/or to send him your thoughts and appreciation for him and his craft.
Link to Billy and Teresa’s GoFundMe can be found here.
Q: I really like this Display Tote basket of yours. Do you still teach this?
Eric: Yes, I do. Uhm, this is a basket I did teach around the country but now it’s been retired to teaching here in Tennessee or at a private workshop.
Q: I can see why you named it “tote” but why “display?” Does that mean people can’t use it?
Eric: Ahhh, you know my feeling about naming baskets. It’s difficult to keep naming baskets. You can use it, I just came up with “display” to add to the word “tote” because I couldn’t leave it as “tote.” And, technically, it’s now called the Presentation Tote but I think I named my photo wrong when I sent it to you so you’re the only one calling it “Display.”
Q: Why do you call your work table a bench when you don’t sit on it?
Eric: Men call it a bench. Women call it a table.
Q: That makes no sense. It’s a table!! Why?
Eric: Look… men stand at a bench and women sit at a table. If I’m in my workshop and talking to my student, Mark, for example, I would say “come to my bench.” If I was talking to Ginger, I would say “come on over here to the table.” Now I’m not stereotyping anyone so don’t go and get me in trouble.
(You are getting your own self in trouble.)
Q: What aggravated you this week?
Eric: Your “bench” question and every other time I tell you “it’s on my bench” and you lecture me on how it’s not a bench, it’s a table and that you sit on a bench and blah blah blah!
(Well, now you’re really in trouble…)
While outside walking with my camera, I snapped this pic of Mr. Basketmaker through the workshop’s big old picture window. He was still busy working while the sun set, getting ready for North Carolina Convention…
Looks like he’s removing dried rims from their molds and looking up at the tv to catch the evening news. Multitasking…