Billie Ruth Sudduth
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Billie Ruth SudduthAmerican, (1945–2021)
Sudduth was a self-taught basketmaker who worked in Bakersville, NC. She taught basketry at renowned craft schools, like Penland School of Craft, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and the John C. Campbell Folk School. In 1997, Sudduth was named a Living Tresure, the highest honor someone in the crafting field can receive in the state of North Carolina. She was the first woman to be bestowed with this honor.
Among her best-known styles was her Fibonacci series that combined mathematical ratios with traditional basketry inspired by Shaker and Appalachian designs. Another series, Illusions, plays with the viewer’s eye—in one moment the white dots painted on the basket can appear to fall in straight lines and in the next loop around the basket in spirals—giving the basket its name, Illusions.
Sudduth’s baskets were works of art that combined tradition with experimentation, resulting in what she called “baskets that hold your interest.”
[Source: Museum Staff - Whitney Richardson]
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