Kelly Church and Sean Church 2011 master artist and apprentice
Hopkins (Allegan County)
black ash baskets
Kelly Church is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa and a fifth-generation black ash basket maker, an art form she learned from her father, Bill Church, her cousin, John Pigeon and Anishnabe elders. Kelly demonstrates and teaches basket weaving to a variety of audiences. With support from the Smithsonian Institutionís National Museum of the American Indian, Kelly coordinated a symposium in 2006 to teach other black ash basket weavers about the Emerald Ash Borer, an insect that is destroying thousands of black ash trees. She advocates for the collection of ash seeds to ensure the future of black ash basket making. Kelly also does the art of birch bark biting. Having taught basket making to her daughter Cherish Parish, she is now teaching her brother Sean. Sean has a passion for woodworking and some prior experience assisting others in basket weaving. He hopes to grow his knowledge of basket weaving and be able to pass the tradition down to his son.
See Kelly's website: http://www.blackash.org/