About the Artist:
Artisan and basket-maker Paul St. John has a real connection with the creatures he depicts in his work. Paul currently lives in Maine, and his mother is Passamaquoddy. He grew up on the Mohawk lands in New York, his father's homeland. While quill work and coiled sweetgrass baskets are historically Maine Indian traditional crafts, currently no one but Paul St. John is actively practicing this craft. Quill work on coiled sweetgrass baskets is Paul St John's specialty.
The lovely cardinal portrayal on this stunning basket has great depth to it. The ruby red that forms the bird’s body, the black and yellow of its throat and beak, and the brown and green tones of the branches and leaves give the cardinal an almost three-dimensional quality. All aspects of the image are depicted with porcupine quills on a birch bark medallion, which measures 4" long by 3" wide.
The contemporary oval basket has birch bark at the center of its lid and on its bottom. Coiled tidal sweetgrass has then been used to fashion the sides of the basket and the rim of lid. There is a lovely braided border of tidal sweetgrass around the lid's birch bark medallion. In addition, the artist has signed the basket on its inner lid with his maker’s mark: his initials “PstJ” and a sun symbol. All in all, the basket is in marvelous condition.
This cardinal basket would make for an ideal gift for anyone who collects baskets or Native American artifacts. If that’s you, then don’t let this gorgeous example of Mohawk and Passamaquoddy craftsmanship pass you by, as this piece is bound to be an important collector’s item.