Mineral Pigment on Woven Black Ash
Linseed Oil Finish 20" height x 15" diameter
Jonathan Kline’s baskets honor the particular beauty of Black Ash trees. What makes this species so ideal for basketry is the relative ease in which it is possible to separate the tree’s annual rings. Each strip of wood is effectively a snapshot of the tree’s life and growth. Kline shows reverence for each layer by constructing undulating trunk-like woven forms, and highly refined, usable baskets. Sadly, Black Ash trees are now critically endangered due to the Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle that burrows beneath the tree’s bark, weakening its ability to ward off infection and disease. By intentionally harvesting each tree and thoughtfully managing the woodland, Kline hopes to aid in the health of these forests. This work is at once ecological and artistic. In a sense, Kline’s baskets preserve the essence and traditions surrounding Black Ash trees, by carefully transforming them into something new.