Raffia Basketry Pattern

artifacts/comp_views/pansy_pattern.jpg not found artifacts/pop_views/pansy_pocumtuck.jpg not found

Raffia basket weaver Gertrude Ashley was interested in sharing her craft with beginners. She and her daughter Mildred offered several instruction books including Raffia Basketry as an Art(1921) which featured a series of patterns suited for inexperienced basket makers finding it difficult to "make a design which is at the same time both simple and pleasing."1 Natalie Ashley's interpretation of the Pansy Design incorporates a colorful border of three blooms combined with a tone-on-tone pattern comprised of "Lazy-Squaw" (also known as the strap stitch) and other stitches. Gertrude and Mildred noted of the Pansy Design, "this is an attractive design in any form or size of basket, which lends itself to many variations, of which even the most simple has charm. A small tray may have three designs, or five if somewhat larger, each of a different color."2

  1. Gertrude Porter Ashley and Mildred Porter Ashley, Raffia Basketry as an Art 1921, 47.
  2. Ibid, 73.

Left image: "Pansy Design" Pattern from Raffia Basketry as an Art, Gertrude P. Ashley, Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association

Right image: Raffia Basket--'Pansy', Natalie Ashley Stebbins, Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association