Photography by Matt Tommey
"I grew up in the deep south - Columbus, Georgia to be exact - and there learned to appreciate the simple elegance of nature. I played in the woods, rode 4 wheelers, made forts in the woods with my cousins and was always creating something from nature. A new wildflower arrangement, a rough vine wreath or just a collection of sticks and rocks all fascinated me as a teenager. My parents encouraged my creativity and it was during these formative years that I began to understand the connection of the words rustic elegance..."
Basketry artist Matt Tommey has been making his one-of-a-kind art baskets since the early 1990's. Early in his career, he was drawn to using kudzu vine and many other southern invasive plant species like grapevine, honeysuckle, bittersweet and mimosa trees.
For over 21 years now, one of the hallmarks of Matt's work has been his ability to 'speak the language of natural materials' and combine a variety of locally harvested natural materials into his work. This creates a wonderfully natural aesthetic that is all his own and perfectly accents the modern rustic decor aesthetic.
The inspiration for most of Matt's hand woven art baskets comes from nature. Matt often says that "Every Basket Begins with a Walk in the Woods" because it's there that he not only collects materials from which to weave, but also the inspiration to reflect the beauty of the natural world in his hand woven baskets. Just like rocks, trees and branches in nature, each one of his art baskets are unique.
Asheville, North Carolina