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Oral history interview with Billie Ruth Sudduth

Interviewee:
Sudduth, Billie Ruth  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Huntingdon College (Montgomery, Ala.) -- Students  Search this
John Campbell Folk School -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Smithsonian Craft Show  Search this
University of Alabama -- Students  Search this
Bringle, Cynthia, 1939-  Search this
Gingrass, Katie  Search this
Risatti, Howard, 1943-  Search this
Ross, Caroline Sedestrom  Search this
Trapp, Kenneth R.  Search this
Extent:
3 Sound discs (Sound recording (4 hr., 42 min.), digital, 2 5/8 in.)
81 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound discs
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2007 July 26-27
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Billie Ruth Sudduth conducted 2007 July 26-27, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's home and studio, in Bakersville, North Carolina.
Sudduth speaks of her childhood in Alabama; her adoptive family; growing up in a creative and musical environment; an early exposure to women working with their hands; buying a Cherokee basket at age 12; childhood piano lessons and later exploring rhythm in her baskets; attending Huntingdon College; a strained relationship with her mother; meeting her biological family; attending the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and earning a Master's degree in social work; working as a social worker and psychologist for over 20 years; balancing a career with family; taking a basket-making class in an effort to relax and do something for herself; making baskets in spare time and teaching herself new techniques; her family's move to Las Vegas, Nevada; teaching basket-making classes to adults; developing Math in a Basket curriculum; an interest in Fibonacci and the inclusion of its ratio in her baskets; an interest in color and natural dyes; returning to North Carolina and focusing full time on basket making; receiving a North Carolina Arts Council Emerging Artists grant to photo-document her body of work; becoming interested in chaos theory and its application to her basketry; the popularity and success of Math in a Basket; teaching experiences at Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and John Campbell Folk School; receiving a North Carolina Arts Council Visual Artist grant to study Cherokee, Choctaw, and other Native American tribes' basketry; her extensive basket collection; the honor of being named a North Carolina Living Treasure; participating in juried shows, including exhibiting at the Smithsonian Craft Show for 12 years and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show for seven years; the evolution of her workspace and studio; making the Carolina snowflake, which was exhibited at the White House; her exhibition history; an increasing respect for and recognition of baskets as art objects; the advantages university-trained artists have over self-taught artists; learning the business side of art making through trial and error; living and working in an incredible community of artists and collectors in North Carolina; a growing interest and participation in donating her baskets for fundraisers; and looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren. Sudduth also recalls Cynthia Bringle, Carol Sedestrom Ross, Kenneth Trapp, Howard Risatti, Katie Gingrass, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Billie Ruth Sudduth is a basketmaker from Bakersville, North Carolina. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is a curator and writer from San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 15 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 42 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Psychologists -- North Carolina  Search this
Social workers -- North Carolina  Search this
Topic:
Basket makers -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Basket making -- Cherokee  Search this
Basket making -- Choctaw  Search this
Basket making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Women artists -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.suddut07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-suddut07

Oral history interview with Carol Eckert

Interviewee:
Eckert, Carol  Search this
Interviewer:
Lauria, Jo  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Anderson, Dale, 1944-  Search this
Anderson, Doug, 1943-  Search this
Blaine, Sandy  Search this
Boyd, Karen Johnson  Search this
Branford, Joanne Segal, 1933-1994  Search this
Covey, Steven  Search this
Docter, Marcia  Search this
Eckert, Tom, 1942-  Search this
Elliot, Lillian  Search this
Garrett, John  Search this
Koplos, Janet  Search this
Lieberman, David  Search this
Lieberman, Sarah  Search this
Manhart, Marcia, 1943-  Search this
McQueen, John, 1943-  Search this
Minkowitz, Norma M., 1937-  Search this
Niehues, Leon  Search this
Okun, Barbara Rose  Search this
Rapp, Joanne  Search this
Sauer, Jane, 1937-  Search this
Turk, Rudy H.  Search this
Extent:
48 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2007 June 18-19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Carol Eckert conducted June 18-19, 2007 by Jo Lauria, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in the artist's home and studio in Tempe, Arizona.
Eckert speaks of moving from North Carolina to New York during her childhood; her interest in making things as a child; her love of reading and a particular interest in mythology, legends, and fairy tales; choosing to pursue painting as an art major at Arizona State University; working as a substitute teacher after graduation; teaching herself the needle arts; and teaching painting and drawing classes at a local community arts center.
She also discusses experimenting with clay; the process that guides her work; the influence of her painting training on her color and composition choices; her marriage to furniture maker Tom Eckert; the development of the basketry field over the past decades; participating in exhibitions and shows; teaching workshops at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts; the cross-cultural animal symbolism present in her pieces; the working environment in her studio; the importance of craft publications; the development in her own work towards larger pieces; her commitment to the longevity and preservation of her work; and upcoming exhibitions.
Eckert recalls Steven Covey, Barbara Rose Okun, Jane Sauer, Sandy Blaine, Lillian Elliot, Joanne Segal Branford, John Garrett, John McQueen, Leon Niehues, Norma Minkowitz, Sarah and David Lieberman, Janet Koplos, Marcia Docter, Doug and Dale Anderson, Karen Johnson Boyd, Rudy Turk, Marcia Manhart, Joanne Rapp, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Carol Eckert (1945- ) is a fiber artist from Tempe, Arizona. Jo Lauria is a curator and arts wrtier from Los Angeles, California.
General:
Originally recorded 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 40 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Occupation:
Fiber artists -- Arizona  Search this
Topic:
Basket making  Search this
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.eckert07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-eckert07

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