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.
Originally recorded 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 40 min.
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.
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.