“We set the dimensions for each piece, and then we essentially form or sculpt them one at a time using the sewing machine and our hands,” Johnston says. The one-off process results in vibrant-colored baskets with a lot of personality—at once organic and artificial, eye-catching and subtle.
The Crowns Basket is part of the ever-evolving, totally stunning Density Basketcollection created by New York–based artist-designer Doug Johnston. Johnston worked for years in his Brooklyn studio to develop this unique basket-weaving technique: Cotton cord is coiled and then stitched with polyester thread using an industrial sewing machine. The density of the stitching varies to create embroidery-like patterns on the basket surface.
Renewed interest in the handmade is on the rise, and Johnston’s work belongs to this growing contemporary craft movement. He trained and worked as an architect for many years, but he always had creative side projects in art and design. In the process, he developed skills in knitting, sewing, and photography, which he describes as “further studies into a sort of customized creative practice.” The huge success of the Density Basket collection enabled Johnson to dedicate his studio to craft production, and to do what he loves most—making beautiful objects by hand.