In this episode of Art on the Island, Maureen Bader interviews two Cortes Island artists. Maggie Armitage and Jan Boas.
Maggie Armitage & Jan Boas
Maggie Armitage started the show surprising Maureen by saying her current activity is singing. Maggie however makes willow baskets from willow that she grows herself here on Cortes Island. Maggie describes her favourite variety of willow, how she harvests it and weaves the baskets. Maggie started weaving willow baskets after she moved to Cortes after taking two workshops at Linnaea Farm. Her style is marked by a type of precision, which no doubt comes from her unique style she has to follow no matter what.
She loved willow weaving right away and has kept it up, notwithstanding her current music projects. Maggie will perform at Hollyhock on December 15, 2018.
Right now, you can see Maggie’s basket at the museum and at the Cortes Craft Shop during the summer. Once she has more production she hopes to participate in local craft markets. Maggie advises other artists to follow their own advice and be flexible.
In the second segment of the show, Maureen spoke to Jan Boas. Jan and her husband have a very long tradition on the island. Jan started working with fabric as a child, and now considers herself a fibre artist, specializing in quilting over the past 15 years.
Jan talks about her style and how it changes and her current interest. Jan is a member of the Quadra quilt guild and they make about 50 quilts per year for the Vancouver Children’s hospital so that every child that goes through the oncology ward gets a quilt.
Jan is very active in the Cortes Craft Shop and displays her work there. That work includes small bags, cloth napkins and placements. Jan talks about what inspires her, her love of batiks and her love of colour.
Jan talks about her production challenges and how she overcomes them. Jan advises local artists to enjoy what they do. People who are interested in seeing Jan’s products in the winter can give her a call (she’s in the book).