Monday, February 25, 2013

I made a basket. With Iain

Salt Lake City's Museum of Natural History helps us fill the weekends and holidays. Iain can run around commenting on the teeth of long-dead dinosaurs, filling the Salt Lake Valley with water then draining it, and wiggling stuffed birds.

They have a new exhibit on basket-making. It's weird. Beautiful, but weird.

Here's what's weird: to enter, you have to find your way to the back corner of the second floor. This is harder than you'd think. Then you enter through a double set of solid doors. It's so non-obvious they had to put up signs "Enter here!"

Once inside, it's the same kind of exhibit you might see at any nice museum. It reminds me of the old gem exhibit at the Smithsonian, or the costumes at the World War I museum in Kansas City.

The baskets represent both modern and traditional design, but they clearly want to emphasize the emergence of a beautiful new strain of modern basketmaking. Interviews, baskets big and small, and presentations relating to materials all emphasize this new approach.

You can design your own basket, too.  On a large touchscreen, you drag elements onto the round basket and then play with size and color. Pretty fun. At the end, you can email it to yourself.

Or, as in this case, you can enter an email address and then receive the image a week later. No joke. A week. Because that's how email works.

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