Menu

Toni Best

Toni Best Baskets

"Learning basketry in the eighth grade, I have progressed from more standard symmetrical pieces to those which are "outside the box." As a retired musician, I have found that as I coil, I hear music which I transfer to my coils with movement and undulations. Each piece has a part of my soul and heart, which I give to the viewer."

Since basket weaving for over 60 years, Toni feels that basketry is part of her being. When playing music, she felt creating musicality and beauty were the most important things in her performing. Now she takes this musicality and imagination and transfers it into her basket and gourd creations. She embraces the Native American belief that "listening to the basket" is foremost in her work.

Most of Toni's baskets start with a gourd base, so selecting a gourd which "speaks" to her is most important. Visualizing the cut of the gourd and the future color can take weeks. Selecting a fiber or thread by color and size helps to create the entire piece. The southern pine needles in the baskets create the movement due to their suppleness. The basket tells Toni which way to proceed.

Toni learned pine needle basketry from an elderly woman in NC. She has taken workshops from Flo Hoppe, Don Weeke, Sue Coleman, Jill Choate, Lois Rainwater, and Elizabeth Whyte Schulze. Her Masters of Music in Classical Organ Performance from Syracuse has added the joy of movement which she transfers into her basketry.

READ MORE
Freeform in Purple
Mixed-Media Basket

$ 280
$ 224
Another Hole in One
Mixed-Media Basket

$ 300
$ 240
Road Trip
Mixed-Media Basket

$ 300
$ 240
Another Freeform
Mixed-Media Basket

$ 320
$ 256
Walking in the Woods on a Fall Day
Mixed-Media Basket

$ 380
$ 304
Just Off Center
Mixed-Media Basket

$ 350
Desert Sunset
Mixed-Media Vessel

$ 450
$ 315
The Cavern
Mixed-Media Basket

$ 350
Serenity
Mixed-Media Basket

$ 380
Study in the Wheat Stitch
Mixed-Media Basket

$ 380
Musings
Mixed-Media Basket

$ 450
Entwined 2
Mixed-Media Basket

$ 240
Blowing in the Wind
Mixed-Media Basket

$ 480
Chinese Crimson Star
Mixed-Media Vessel

$ 1,600
The Spiraling Vortex
Mixed-Media Vessel

$ 1,400
March Winds
Mixed-Media Vessel

$ 700
Field of Grasses
Mixed-Media Vessel

$ 400
Desert Song
Mixed-Media Basket

 
Watsonia
Mixed-Media Basket

 
Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Baskets and Gourds - Containers of our Culture, Arts Visalia, Visalia, CA, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018
All Things Considered VIII - National Basketry Organization, St. Paul. MN and Fruitlands Museum, St. Paul, MN and Harvard MA, 2015
Basketry Now National Basketry Organization, Museum Western KY University, BOwling Green, KY, 2019
The Playa Mixed Media - Convergence, Handweavers Guild of America, Reno, NV, 2018
Great Basin Basketry Exhibit - Convergence - Handweavers Guild of America, Reno, NV, 2018