Using the ancient methods created by the Okanogan-Wenatchi bands of the Colville Tribe, Bernadine Phillips handcrafts coiled cedar root, bear grass and wild cherry bark baskets. She has always had deft hands, beginning with years of traditional beadwork before learning coil weave basketry from her family. She searches the mountains for her materials, then prepares baskets over several weeks or months for use in berry picking. We had a moment to catch up with Bernadine near her home in Omak, Washington, and learn more about this inspiring art form.
How long have you been working with basket weaving and other traditional crafting methods?
I learned to make the coiled cedar root baskets about 22 ...