Polly Adams Sutton
County: King County
GAP Award 2012
Learn About GAP Award
Polly Sutton is a long-time resident of Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. She typically creates her basketry art from the fibers of native Washington species: cedar bark gathered in freshly-logged forests and sweet-grass collected from Pacific Ocean tide-flats. She has become well-known for using the flexibility of the cedar and sweet-grass fibers to create asymmetrical art ranging from free-form baskets to objective works in the shape of tea-pots. Her work has been widely exhibited. Twelve times, the prestigious international Sculpture Objects & Functional Art (SOFA) Fair has invited Polly to display her art at their annual Chicago and New York City festivals. In addition, galleries and museums in 22 states across the U.S., including the Jane Sauer Gallery (Santa Fe, NM) and the Cavin-Morris Gallery (New York, NY) have displayed her work. Shemer Art Museum (Phoenix, AZ) has twice recognized Polly’s work with their Judge’s Award, and a photo of one of her free-form baskets graces the cover of the glossy“coffee-table” book, 500 Baskets: A Celebration of the Basketmaker’s Art (Lark Books, 2006). The Boston (MA) Museum of Fine Arts and the Kamm Teapot Collection both have added her work to their collections, as have local art museums in Racine, WI, and Edmonds, WA. Polly earned a Master of Arts degree in art education from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree in art from Eureka College, Eureka IL.
Polly received a 2012 GAP to be used for travel and research into the method of Sardinian Basketry. Polly will travel to Sardinia, Italy to meet, observe and work with the basket makers of the region. She will visit four towns where the natural materials palmetto and asphodel leaves are used. Here she will participate in the gathering process and research the techniques used in the weaving of the Sardinian baskets. Read Polly’s report on her trip Sardinia.
Tuk, cedar bark, magnet wire, ash, spruce root, 6"x9"x8", 2012. photo: Bill Wickett.
Cambium, cedar bark basket, twined with magnet wire, woven with dyed binder cane, cedar root border, 14"x10"x7.5", 2009. photo: Bill Wickett.
Ross, cedar bark basket and twined with magnet wire, dyed ash, cane border, 14"x12"x12", 2007. photo: Bill Wickett.