Billy Ray Sims Basketmaker

Category: Billy’s Baskets


Collaborative Effort

White Oak Market Basket 6 1/2″ x 10″ x 7 1/2″ I’ve enjoyed the privilege of working before with Leona Waddell, a wonderful master basketmaker in Cecilia, KY, but this one was something special. It’s a small market basket, similar…

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It’s All in the De “tails”

10″ x 10″ x 48″ Here’s white oak fish trap that was a boatload of fun to make. It’s modeled on a trap made by old-time South Carolina basket weaver Elbert Brown that is part of the McKissick Museum collection….

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Lessons from the past

Potato Basket 21″ x 21″ x 9″ Rib-work construction; hand-split white oak There are few basket makers who work with white oak.  It’s labor intensive—this basket required hand splitting the good part of two small oak trees—and most of those…

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Appalachian Egg Basket

11″ x 14″ x 10″ Carved, whittled, woven, rib work construction; hand-split white oak This basket is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum as a gift from Martha G. Ware and Steven R. Cole. It’s based on an Appalachian style known…

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Fish Creel

White Oak Creel 8″x12″x6″ Split-work construction; white oak weaving and quarter-sawn oak lid; saddle leather strap The basket shown is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a gift of Martha G. Ware and Steven R. Cole. It’s made on a mold to…

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Rice Fanner

2 1/4″ x 16″ x 16″ Coiled and sewn construction; sweetgrass, bulrush, palmetto Some 15 years ago, I lived on an old wooden sailboat on the Stono River just south of Charleston, SC. Newly divorced and in need of healing,…

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Pack Basket

  22″ x 13″ x 9″ Woven, split-work construction; hand-split black ash and white oak, saddle leather straps Woven from New Hampshire black ash with white oak rim and handle, this basket was a fun take on the traditional New…

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