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“Basketmakers are the best people in the world.” –Maxine Kirmeyer
The Bay Area Basket Makers (BABM) guild was founded in 1984 by Maxine Kirmeyer and Jude’ Silva to support and further interest in basketry as a craft and art form. The guild serves as a source of information and as a means of communication among basketmakers, providing inspiration and friendship. We welcome basketmakers of all levels and expertise, from amateurs to professionals.
During the year, we publish 5 issues of our newsletter “Twinings” which is available in paper and by email, as well as on this website.
At present, our guild has 78 members–most reside in the greater San Francisco Bay Area but a few live as far away as Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon and Utah.
To create their baskets, our members use a wide variety of materials, from the traditional reed, splint, pine needles, plants, kelp, paper, and gourds to more exotics like hog gut, fish skin and fish bones, horsehair, fleece, wire and wire mesh, to reusable finds of plastic bags and yarns – employed in techniques of coiling, plaiting, twining, knotting, looping, felting, randing, and more.
Our youngest member is 15-year old Gregory Thomas, already an accomplished basketmaker in his own right. Our most senior member, Florence Powers, is ninety+ and steadily takes home blue, red, and white ribbons from county fairs for her pine needle baskets.