Susan Langley, Basketmaker

I am a native New Englander.  I live in Chester, VT. and work as a Physical Therapist at our local Hospital. Though I love working with reed, my passion is weaving Nantucket style baskets.  I really enjoy working with the combination of the cherry wood and cane.”

“I was born in Connecticut, lived in Maine, and moved to Vermont from Massachusetts in 1990 with my husband and two young children.  I had attended the University of Vermont in the 1970’s, and was thrilled  to return to this state to raise our children - away from large cities, traffic, and stress.

It is more the “feel” of Vermont than the landscape that inspires me.   Caring for our environment through awareness and recycling led me to weave several styles of “old fashioned” market baskets.  I use mine often for small trips to the local co-op or grocery store. 
I began weaving 20 years ago when I purchased a “How to” booklet with basket patterns.  From then on, I was hooked. I fell in love with weaving the Nantucket style baskets about 10 years ago after taking a class at Fletcher Farm School in Ludlow, VT. I found it amazing that men working aboard lightships off of the coast of Massachusetts for months at a time could weave such beautiful yet functional baskets. I have also worked with pounded brown/black ash while weaving Shaker style baskets.  The Shakers in New England learned much from the basket making techniques of the Native Americans in the area. Recently, I learned how to use thin strips of Elm bark in a basket of pounded ash.  The baskets came out fantastic using these natural materials!  
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