Craft in America

CLIP

Merritt Johnson on her work

Artist Merritt Johnson on her work. Bonus video from the STORYTELLERS episode. Archival images courtesy of Merritt Johnson.

AIRED: December 11, 2020 | 0:01:56
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TRANSCRIPT

One side is the outside and one side is inside so look at that. We're gonna

start at the bottom and you're gonna go around and around and around right.

So this piece it's a basket woven in the shape of a mouth guard

the basketworks revolve around, in part the collision of technologies.

The first basket I did was a life-size ak-47 that was woven in the same kind of

stitch that's a coiled basket and that piece was really about things that have to do with survival

and technology and what happens when our technologies and oftentimes like our oldest

technologies that have been you know useful and really important for a very long time

are no longer valued in a new circumstance and that often happens with collisions of culture

or very different world views. That piece doesn't function as a basket to hold anything

physical but also doesn't function as a gun and what it really functions as a container for ideas.

I've done a number of different kinds of baskets that are not conventional

baskets in the sense that they don't hold berries but they hold ideas and

become another kind of container you're doing a really good job though honey. Thanks.

Mouth guard is something that's worn by people who are putting their bodies in situations where they

can be harmed and so thinking about that along the lines of what it means to exist in the world and

protection.

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