A basket by Joe Bruneau holds a lot – it’s full of texture, color, technique, and artistry. Joe has been making handwoven baskets for almost 40 years. First introduced to basket weaving as an art student at Warren Wilson College, Joe chose this Appalachian craft as his calling.
“When I completed my first basket, I felt I had made a vessel meant to nurture and that held purpose,” says Joe. “I found something that spoke to me.”
That conversation has continued with great success. Joe teaches all over the Blue Ridge, including workshops through the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, the Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, the Transylvania Community Arts Council in Brevard, and numerous schools and colleges throughout the Carolinas. In 2006, a Bruneau basket was featured in the HGTV Dream House Giveaway in Lake Lure, NC.
Joe uses mostly local woods and found materials in his work. Grapevine, honeysuckle, bittersweet, and wisteria are favorites for the basket frames, along with hand-dyed rattan and ribs for the basket body. The results are pleasing and often surprising. “I have not stopped exploring the potential in all materials … playing with color and texture and shape,” he says.
Joe Bruneau’s baskets are works of art and craft, form and function. You could fill one with dried flowers or leave it empty … gorgeous either way.