Here at Twig & Horn, our small (but mighty) team of makers gets enjoyment out of working day-in and day-out within the very special world that is the fiber arts community. Whether you've been knitting for decades, or just picked up the craft recently, you likely know just how transformative making (of all kinds) can be—both for yourself and for your community.
And sometimes, if we're lucky, we meet someone within our crafting community who leaves us transformed for the better.
Such was the case with Gallit Cavendish, owner of Loveline Baskets and creator of the newly released Harvest Work Basket.
Though we have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Gallit in person, the moment we learned of her maker story, we found ourselves newly inspired to make, create, and share.
So, without further ado, we turn it over to Gallit to tell her story in our next installment of our Meet the Maker blog series...
Tell us a little about yourself—what got you into making? What made you decide to start your own business?
My name is Gallit Cavendish, and I, along with my husband and two daughters Calliope and Poppy, live in the beautiful small town of Bowdoinham, Maine, where we own and operate a small organic farm. I am a professional chef by trade and have always been very passionate about cooking beautiful food. One day 12 years ago, a farmer walked into the restaurant where I was the Chef looking to sell his beautiful vegetables. Not only did I love the produce but I fell in love with the farmer as well. Shortly after, I left my job, moved onto the farm, got married, and started a family. We have a lovely life here together.
7 years ago, our son Elon was born and died just 8 short days later.
Deep in despair, I found myself at my sewing machine trying to find something positive, something beautiful. Loveline Baskets came about over the years as a way for me to center in this grief and to find a new way in life. My husband and I tried for years to have another child. Due to many challenges beyond our control, we could not conceive without costly intervention.
Loveline Baskets is a labor of love for me. It has allowed me to create beautiful items and stay centered on being a good mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and active community member. This process has allowed me to find and choose joy every day in addition to paying for the intervention that gave us our beautiful daughter, Poppy.
I believe that I have been able to turn the work of my sorrow and grief into something beautiful and meaningful.
Throughout my life, I have always been creative. As an adult, cooking professionally became my main creative outlet, but I have enjoyed pottery, painting, baking, sewing garments, and many other art forms. My baskets combine all of those expressions; creating large pots of dyes, working with color, and sewing new shapes for people to enjoy.
Do you feel you have a particular style in your designs? How would you describe them?
In its purest form, a basket is a vessel to hold the artifacts of our lives. The tradition of basket making is nearly as old as humankind and as a maker, my place in this long history resonates deeply within myself. As a mother who has lost their child too soon, each basket has taken on another layer of meaning for me. My baskets have become the vessels within which my love for my son, my family, and all of humankind is held.
The style of my baskets has developed as a creative dialog between my hand, the sewing machine, the rope, and other materials I incorporate. The function of the basket is always where I start. With a quick sketch or just an image in my mind of the finished product I start sewing the basket. This is where my machine and the rope get involved in the conversation. Maybe the curve of the basket is too steep for the machine or the rope I am using won't behave as expected. This dialog continues until I have a form that is both beautiful and functional. My baskets are truly a form that respects the function of the basket, the material, and the tools used.
Do you have a favorite kind of material to work with? What do you like most about working with this material?
Throughout my life I have moved from one medium of choice to the next as they have called out to me. From food, to clay, to soil, to fabric they have all been favorites of mine and I love to return to them all from time to time.
For the moment, I find rope baskets to be surprisingly engaging. There are surprisingly subtle qualities to the materials and tools I use. For instance, the weave and quality of fiber in the rope I use, changes both how it handles and the qualities of the finished product. Each of the tools and materials I work with all have their own subtleties. All combined there are nearly endless variations to be explored and I have only begun to scratch the surface.
Is there a craft that interests you that you haven’t tried yet?
My interests have a way of finding me. While I am perfectly happy to continue exploring all that is possible with rope baskets, I remain open to the world of possibilities. One such possibility that is in the works is a collaboration between myself and my husband. A collaboration between rope and wood in traditional and not so traditional ways.
Is there anything else you would like to say about creating the Harvest Work Basket?
Crafting any object by hand tells the story of the hand that made it in that particular moment of time. Stories evolve and time moves on and thus the object of creation varies.
Gazing upon the Harvest Work Baskets all together as I prepped them for shipment, I was both humbled and amazed. Humbled that each basket had slight variations. Amazed that each basket could tell its own unique story of when it was made.