About Jo Campbell-Amsler
I am a gatherer, and I find an endless source of materials and inspiration in the objects and visual experiences I collect from the natural world and my travels. I use many different types of gathered materials, but willow is the foundation or “heart” for all of my work. Finding, gathering and processing willow are all part of the ritual that leads to a finished piece, and the feel, the fragrance, the color and sheen, the essence of willow… all of these are integral to each piece. The simple construction and clear lines of rib-style or frame basketry techniques give shape, definition and strength to my work, whether I design a functional piece or create a free form sculpture.
My baskets are my way of sharing what I gather from the natural world.Working from my home studio, Willow Ridge, in eastern Iowa, I grow and harvest the willow that is used for my basket work. This creates a seasonal process for me; growing and watching over the willow in the warm season, harvesting in preparation for the “stay at home” snow season, long days of studio time during those winter months, and the renewal process starting again early each Spring. It is a joy to spend time working the willow, and creating in my studio, but teaching and sharing gives me a connection with people and the world beyond my studio space, which offers me its own kin.