Sally J. Bright


Sally J. Bright

Imagine a large convoluted shape of air. Next imagine weaving vinelike pieces of rattan and palm around that shape to enclose and define it. That is how these shapes are created.

Inspired by natural shapes, structures, dimensions and palettes not evident to the naked eye, Sally’s basketry gives macro expression to the micro world. She seeks the odd beauty produced by the affects of light and water on aquatic and terrestrial flora and creatures; in the diversity of shapes and hues revealed by electromagnetic and microscopic photography; even in the dimensions of abstract mathematical concepts. From these, Sally extracts ideas for simple and complex arrangements that exhibit nature’s unusual color combinations.

A piece may begin as a response to a mood, the essence of a shape, or a feeling about a material or color combination. The most successful work comes when I am able to sustain that feeling and follow it, allowing the piece to become what it needs to be. Certainly I look to create beauty. More importantly, I look to evoke an emotional reaction within the person viewing a work.

Each basket is an original creation, designed and woven entirely by Sally without assistance from employees, apprentices or helpers. She first studies an idea through drawings and fashioning small clay models. As she begins work on the actual piece, Sally mentally enlarges the design to full size. She does not use molds or armatures to form her creations. The flowing shapes are deliberately formed during the weaving process and are the direct result of her imaginative thinking and control of the medium.

While following the artistic vision, each piece must be carefully thought through. There are design and craftsmanship decisions to make every minute.

Her creations are mostly made of rattan. Prior to weaving, Sally colors the rattan with wood stain; custom mixing colors that express the spirit of the piece. The color design is woven in as part of the overall concept, not painted on after weaving. Depending on the intricacy of the design and the detail involved, it may take up to three months to complete a piece. But the resulting finished basketry is a marvel of form, structure and color designed to make a striking visual impact.

My goal is to continually challenge assumptions and stretch the definition of what the ancient craft of basketry can be. As I seek new challenges, my work becomes more complex.


  • Steinhofels Furniture Inc., corporate office
  • Creative Strategies Group
  • Odessey Marine
  • State of Michigan
  • Amoco
  • Longmont United Hospital
  • Barnet Bank
  • MSI Insurance
  • Expert Designware
  • Morgan & Myers


  • Award of Excellence Kansas City, MO 2008
  • Award of Excellence Tampa, FL 2008
  • Award of Excellence Kansas City, MO 2007
  • Award of Excellence Naples, FL 2006
  • Best of Show Birmingham, MI 2005
  • Best of Show Sun Valley, ID 2001
  • Best of Medium Austin, TX 2001 & 2000
  • Best of Medium Milwaukee, WI 1998
  • Best of Show New Orleans, LA 1999
  • Best of Show W. Palm Beach, FL 1998

Fenton, MI
Work: 810.813.0500

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