Lin Bentley Keeling



I grew up in Arizona and was aware from a young age of basketry and the fiber arts, particularly the work of Native American artists, and always loved working with fiber in needlework and embroidery.  After I married and we moved to El Paso Texas, I decided to pursue fiber artistry through embroidered ‘tapestries’.  I needed a storage vessel for my needlework materials and made a large coiled basket with a design like the basketry I had seen growing up.  When it was finished, my husband said, “that’s great, you should make another”, and my career as a coiled vessel weaver was born.  That was 30 years ago.  I detoured for a while into anthropology, earning a BA from UTEP and an MA from NMSU, and continued to weave coiled vessels as time permitted.  Last year, I resumed my studio work full-time.

I am drawn to create pieces which can be experienced within an individual’s physical space and field of view, to be held within their hands.  Color is the primary focus of my work as I experiment with the interactions of colors, working to create new and interesting effects within dynamic yet restful surface designs, balancing movement and stillness, calm and energy.  In each piece, the structure and surface design are created simultaneously. The wrapping and stitching of each piece is a slow and meditative process mirroring the effects I seek to achieve and each vessel requires 80 to more than 100 hours to complete.