No Math Anxiety Here
Math anxiety? Master basketmaker and North Carolinian, Billie Ruth Sudduth, doesn't have it. During her long career as a school psychologist, she frequently worked with statistics. When she took up basket making as a way to peace out once a week from her demanding roles at school and as mom to young sons, Billie Ruth instinctively incorporated mathematical principals into her designs. The ideas of Fibonacci, the 13th-century mathematician, came to dominate her work, with stylistic influences also coming from traditional Appalachian and Shaker baskets.
[Billie Ruth Sudduth, Fibonacci 5, 1996, hand-shaped and hand-dyed reed splints with twill weave construction, 13 x 16 1/2 inches, Smithsonian American Art Museum.]
Today Billie Ruth's baskets are in the collections of numerous museums including The Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery and the Mint Museum of Craft and Design. And an exhibition of her work is currently on view at the Ogden.
Be sure to watch this video explaining how math relates to her designs.
Math in a Basket, the exhibition catalog from her 2005 show at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, is available on her site.