Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


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.


Kifus said...


Marisa said...

Love it: Math anxiety! Reminds me of high school when I sure had it!

The Peak of Chic said...

Now this is my kind of math!

Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, Interiors said...

Math is finally becoming quite attractive to me!!

Lacquered Life said...

I love the geometric pattern on this basket, so modern!

Color and Style said...

Beautiful basket. What a great way to de stress.
Thanks for sharing

Karena said...

I would be having definite math anxiety! These are amazing weavings. Going to watch her video now..Karena

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

I know a teacher who uses Fibonacci and quilting to teach math to 3rd graders.