Jane Theobald has been designing and making baskets in the Nantucket tradition since early in 1980 after seeing a broken one during an antique class. Her “teacher” early on was the last chapter of a book on Nantucket with some general discussions on the making of the baskets. Jane was also a member of the fledgling Northeast Basket-makers Guild and there were several members there who assisted her in her pursuit.
Completely self-taught, Jane has always done all aspects of her baskets from design, wood prep, staves, rims, handles and decorations much as the early basket makers did by trial and error with much of the weaving when weather permits done at a Lakeside family retreat in northern Michigan. Over the years her work has evolved in both traditional and historic reproductions often utilizing old wood and beautifully aged repurposed cane. Following an early visit to Nantucket in 1994 she was inspired to make a copy of an antique sewing basket and has continued to modify and produce numerous custom baskets for fiber artisans. In addition she has expanded her custom work in recent years to unique items such as an ergonomically designed back pack based on her physical therapist expertise, cat basket for a spoiled cat and a lap desk to hide an iPad.
Jane has been honored in the past as one of the 200 top craft persons by Early American Life. Several pieces of her work have been featured during a show of miniatures at The Nantucket Basket Museum on Nantucket and has been offered in select galleries and shops in the US. Her work can be found in collections all over the US and in Europe and Asia as well.
Currently Jane resides most often in Cincinnati and Alden Mi. with her husband Ron and loyal sidekick Dixie. Her work for the most part now is unique and custom pieces always staying true to the early philosophy of form, function and beauty co existing.