Barbara Spencer

Scandinavian textiles and rya (knotted) rugs started my search for fiber classes to learn how these textiles were made.  I was fortunate to find talented teachers in several states and in Sweden, where my family lived during an academic year.  As a result of these classes, my interests have broadened to include off-loom techniques such as coiling and twining for making baskets.  Many of the designs for my baskets and table rugs were inspired by Native American basket makers, rug and blanket weavers. 


Baskets are decorated with beads and semi-precious stones, or with the Native American turtle symbol for health and longevity.  The cactus “plants” are whimsical baskets turned upside down, and planted in a pot, basket “shields” are wall hangings inspired by Hopi coiled trays.  Table sized rugs for centerpieces and smaller mug rugs are woven on a loom, and make thoughtful gifts.


Small pieces of my work can be seen at the Museum Store located in the Logan Museum of Anthropology at Beloit College.  My work can be seen during the Door County summer season at Gill’s Rock Coffee Shop (formerly Charlene’s Gallery Ten) and Top O Thumb Gift Shop, located in nearby Ellison Bay.

Email Barbara Spencer