Mary Thompson
Public Art + Placekeeping at the Center for Craft Parklet

My artistic knowledge came the traditional way, my Mom always made white oak baskets so I was immersed in basketry my entire life. In my lifetime I have witnessed life skills evolve to art forms. My reproduction pottery pieces led me to museum archives, classes, symposiums and other research materials for a better understanding of the history of Cherokee vessels.

I enjoy weaving with river cane and white oak, but the process requires various techniques and skills including the harvesting of the raw materials, gathering of natural dyes and carving handles and rims. With the river cane I weave the single and double wall baskets. I make traditional pottery using various clays, which led to carving wooden stamp paddles. I have recently learned to do shell carvings. Many of my designs have carried over to contemporary art forms such as fabric patterns for clothing and upholstery fabric.

I have been practicing my art for thirty plus years.

My art has taken me to many levels in the art world. This would include gallery exhibitions, museums, art schools to teach classes, being published, juried for an exhibition, consultant and served on panel discussions relating to art or artisan resources.