For 81-year-old master craftsman Bernadine Dosch, the most beautiful things come in the smallest of packages. The Grayling, Michigan native regularly spends 40-60 hours creating one flawless basket tiny enough to fit into your hand.
Bernie, as she is affectionately called, has been honing her craft for decades. The craft explosion of the ’70s first lit her creative spark, when she started mail-ordering supplies and making natural dyes from beets and walnuts. That tiny spark grew into a full-fledged forest fire in the ’80s and ’90s, as she began apprenticeships with masters from Japan, China, Egypt, and roughly 20 more countries. Multiple awards followed and one of her ornaments, created for the White House, now lives in the Smithsonian.
Starting with a pencil and a pad of graph paper, she sketches out concepts and carefully plans out each basket. Although she has made baskets of all shapes and sizes, she recently shifted her focus to these tiny wax linen creations adorned with venetian glass beads. Her attention to detail is awe-inspiring: They’re equally beautiful on the inside and bottom as they are at first glance.
Bernie still spends many days weaving and teaching classes in her studio. Her quest to master every inch of her craft is evident in every basket she weaves, and her legacy will live forever through the stories that are woven into the baskets.
The baskets are available through The Ausable Gallery.
Photography Jonathan Faucett
Styling by Ann Berglund