44 Wrights Cove Road
Fairview, NC 28730
Specialty: Matt Tommey’s interest in making 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 rib basket 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 traditional rib baskets 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 journey into 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.
From making the rim hoops, measuring and cutting the ribs, weaving the body to fashioning the final details, each basket is truly a unique creation.
Galleries: Twigs & Leaves - Waynesville, NC The Design Gallery - Burnsville, NC Barkhouse - Spruce Pine, NC
Professional Affiliations: National Basketry Organization American Craft Council John C. Campbell Folk School - Instructor Blue Ridge Basketmaker's Guild Smithsonian American Art Museum - American Artist Under 40