Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with Tina Puckett, basket weaver of Tina’s Baskets.
When did you start crafting? TP: I grew up in South America. We lived as locals, and every week we would go to the open market for the groceries. At the local market there were always local crafts being sold from hats to toys. My parents also decorated our home with local art and crafts. So, I was exposed to crafts at an early age. Being an only child, I found most of my time was spent alone. In those moments, I would build things like tree houses and doll houses. Decorating each from the curtains to the dresses, I was always fascinated by the construction and design. In high school, I spent a lot of time teaching myself how to embroider and took a class in sewing. I studied set design in college with a concentration in construction and design. Then in 1982, I took a course in basket weaving. The first lesson was how to weave an Egg Basket. From that moment on, I have never looked back.
What is the silliest question you’ve ever received about your craft? TP: The center of my gigantic Sunflower is created by wooded beads that are interwoven. But I am constantly asked “Is that blueberries in the center of the flower?”
What craft project are you most proud of? TP: Probably the craft project that I am most proud of is that I have created my own technique of weaving called “Dimensional Weave”. I have been able to incorporate it in whatever I am creating.
What is your most popular (or bestselling) project? TP: There is no particular best selling product of mine. I am fortunate to be able to sell a variety of my works, such as my baskets, bowls, wall hangers, sculpture, flowers, landscapes, and furniture.
Are you ever surprised by the form that results from the materials you’ve chosen for a certain project? TP: Yes, I am pleasantly surprised by the form that results from trying different materials to weave with.
Has a craft or craft project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? TP: When I am creating a woven sculpture piece it is always like a puzzle. That is the fun in being creative. The challenges that constantly “pop-up” as you go along creating and how unexpectedly the solution comes to you in a graceful way. I do have a partial vision on how the woven works will come out when I start and I am always pleasantly surprised with the finished product.
How has crafting affected your character? TP: I am…
- Patient: Basket weaving has made me a “Basket Case”…LOL!!! When weaving, one needs patience because it takes a lot of time to weave.
- Grateful: I am always grateful when it comes out beautifully.
- Organized: When one has taken their craft and created it into a business, organization is very important to run the business.
- Supportive: I get a lot of support from craft shows by the public’s reaction to my woven works.
- Adventurous: I am adventurous all the time when trying to create something new and different. Also, the business has led me to adventure into travelling all throughout the US doing craft and art shows.
- Persistent: I think that weaving and running my business for over 30 years is being pretty persistent. I am determined to show the world my woven works and to support myself.
- Proactive: Proactive you say… Acting in advance to deal with an expected change in the piece I am working on or difficulty in weaving the piece… no, I cannot be proactive, I can only solve the problem when it occurs and sometimes I have to walk away and then when I come back to it, it gets resolved. I never walk away for more than 12 hours, and I only work on one piece at a time.
- Independent: My independence is the ability to express myself through my woven works.
- Diverse: I enjoy the ability to be diverse in what I am weaving from a basket to a sculpture.
- Imaginative: I find it a lot of fun to let my imagination see all the different forms the Bittersweet vines can take.
- Observant: To be observant to me means to be attentive, careful and accurate in my weaving.
- Expressive: In my woven works, I try to have it express joy, happiness and love.
- Consistent: I am always consistent in trying to create new woven products and to achieve a more beautiful woven piece of Art.
Can you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? TP: From my experience being in my booth at shows I can say that I affect people in a positive way. Because so many people say to me that they like my woven works because it makes them feel happy and they can see how much I enjoy what I create.
What crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? TP: I can’t tell you what crafty goodness is coming in the future, but I do know that I have a lot of interesting pieces of Bittersweet vines shapes that are ready for my imagination… I just have to step into my studio and “let it all flow”… That is what is appealing to me, to let it flow and not force it… and wonders shall never cease in what I can create.
Many thanks to Tina for participating in this ACrafty interview series! As the photos show, her works are vibrant, unique, and beautiful. I hope you’re able to see them in person as she travels to various craft shows and from her Connecticut studio… You can follow Tina’s adventures on her website!
Would you like to be a part of the ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with multi-crafter Diane from CraftyPod, embroiderer Ellen of Schindermania!, the multi-talented David Tedin, needlepointer Haruhi Okubo of Cresus-Parpi, tatter and chainmailler Jeff Hamilton, stone artist Jerry Locke, and potter Nancy Germond.