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Steven Forbes-deSoule / Steven Forbes-deSoule
Steven Forbes-deSoule has been focusing on raku pottery exclusively for over 28 years and during that time has created a...

 

44 Wrights Cove Road
Fairview, NC 30102
(404) 538-5173

Matt Tommey

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Vine Baskets by Matt Tommey

Media: Natural Materials

Matt Tommey is an Appalachian basketmaker in Asheville, North Carolina.  Matt's baskets are a whimsical collaboration of traditional Appalachian forms and wild, rustic, natural materials including natural vines (kudzu, wisteria, grapevine), branches (birch, oak, ash & poplar) and poplar bark. His interpretation of rib baskets and other traditional shapes offer a heartfelt nod to his roots in Appalachian basketry while offering a contemporary expression that is all his own.



Matt Tommey's interest in fine craft and handmade baskets began as a teenager, growing up in southern Georgia. His passion for using natural materials began to center around creeping southern vine, kudzu while in school in the North Georgia mountains at Young Harris College and the University of Georgia.

 

Now an Asheville, North Carolina resident, Matt's baskets are a whimsical collaboration of traditional Appalachian forms and wild, rustic, natural materials including natural vines (kudzu, wisteria, grapevine), branches (birch, oak, ash & poplar), long leaf pine needles and poplar bark. His interpretation of rib baskets and other traditional shapes offer a heartfelt nod to his roots in Appalachian basketry while offering a contemporary expression that is all his own.

 

The Process
Every basket starts with a walk in the woods, searching for just the right materials. Matt pays close attention to the materials he chooses in the harvesting process to ensure the most unique design features and highest quality possible.

 

After harvesting, Matt carefully cleans, separates and prepares the materials for curing - a drying season required to minimize shrinkage - at his workshop. Once fully cured, the vines are soaked or boiled to bring them ‘"back to life" and are prepared for weaving.

 

Each basket is completed by adding a hand-hammered copper leaf made by Matt from found and recycled materials. This has become one of his trademarks.

 

 

Professional Memberships and Designations

Member, Southern Highland Craft Guild
Board Member, National Basketmakers Organization
Instructor, John C. Campbell Folk School
Member, Handmade in America's Craft Registry
Member, American Craft Council
Member, BlueRidge Basketmakers Guild - Asheville, NC
Recognized, American Artist Under 40 - Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery