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Emma Hughes

Fiber / Sulphur, LA / Master Craftsman

Artist Statement

Baskets have always fascinated me; I like the simplicity of the design, that it is an old craft, and that baskets are functional. Once I started weaving baskets, the challenge of different styles of weaving patterns and weaving materials gave me an unlimited number of creative possibilities. I am drawn to the fact that in a short amount of time I can complete a basket from start to finish. Little did I know that this leisure time activity would become a full-time profession.
I prefer creating the traditional style baskets with a contemporary flare. I use reed for most of my baskets because it is readily available, but I like to use natural materials when I have time to gather and prepare them for weaving. Natural materials are also good accent for the reed. I choose to dye the reeds I use in my baskets in order to have a wider range of color possibilities.
During the twenty five years I have devoted to my craft, I am still amazed at the variety of different baskets that can be created from various sizes and types of reed and natural fibers available on today’s market. What begins as a bundle of reed and natural fibers can be transformed into a work of art that has a utilitarian purpose.

Biography

Emma Hughes unknowingly began her basket weaving career in the late 1960’s with the purchase of basket materials for a local girls’ organization. In her quest for basket projects Emma’s research soon led to fascination, which led her to a professional weaving career. Emma now dyes her reed and often uses materials from plant life indigenous to Louisiana, such as philodendron sheaths and cedar bark. She is inspired by the history of basket weaving, which is the oldest know craft, even predating pottery. Emma designs and creates baskets that are unique works of art, as well as utilitarian.
As a professional weaver and teacher since 1987, Emma enjoys weaving baskets as well as teaching the process to both adults and children. During the twenty five years Emma has taught at the Missouri and North Carolina Basket Weaving Conventions and has had the opportunity to teach groups in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. She refers to herself as the “Road Runner” basket weaver. Emma has also taught on a Norwegian Cruise ship and in 2008 , was ask to demonstrate basket weaving as a representative of Southwest Louisiana, at the International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot in Orlando, Florida.
Emma is currently a member of the Louisiana Crafts Guild, Artisans Gallery of Lake Charles (Louisiana), North Carolina Basket weavers Association, Missouri Basket weavers Guild, Clearlake Basket weavers Guild (Texas), and the Texas Weavers Association. Membership in the association gives her the opportunity to expand her skills and knowledge by taking classes with Master Weavers such as Martha Wetherbee, John McGuire, Sosse Baker, Lynn Siler, and others.
Emma Hughes resides in Sulphur, LA where she weaves traditional and contemporary baskets. Her work can be found at the Odgen Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, as well as in special exhibitions with a group of artists known as the “Artisans Gallery” of Lake Charles. As a member of the Louisiana Crafts Guild her work is exhibited at the following Louisiana Crafts Guild Galleries: Sans Sauci in Lafayette, River Oaks in Alexandria, and the Barnwell Center in Shreveport.
Contact information for Emma is 708 Pitre St, Sulphur, LA 70663, phone number 337 527 5328, email emhughes13@bellsouth.net