Sandra Atkinson has been weaving since 1983. In 1985 Sandy and her
husband Steve opened Atkinson’s Country House where Sandy could
teach weaving and sell basket supplies. The success of the business
grew into a nationwide mail ordering company. When Steve retired in
2000 he joined the business full time.
In 1986 Sandy approached the U of M - Public-TV about doing a series
on basket weaving. The concept was enthusiastically received and the
University of Michigan produced the first two series of “Country
Basket Weaving with Sandy Atkinson”, both of which went nationwide.
Series three, four and five were produced by Steve Atkinson and also
went nationwide. All five series have been picked up by Sterling
digital out of New York State and will began airing in 2002.
Sandy’s most satisfying work is teaching others to weave and
watching that person grow and become creative. She may start out with
a basic basket pattern, but always encourages the student to use their
own ideas and creative ways with a pattern. “It is so much fun to
watch that student be surprised at his/her own creativeness. To help
him/her use ideas in a basket that I help to pull out of them, then
watch the students satisfaction, it is a wonderful feeling.” she
“My artistic goal is to keep bringing nature into my work and
expanding my ideas of what a basket is verses what a weaving is. Most
times it is a woven container of some shape. Some times it is a wall
hanging not able to contain anything. There are times it may be a 3
dimensional work that’s purpose is simply to behold.
Sandy has taught at Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Ohio,
Missouri, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois, and
Indiana State Conventions, as well as John C. Campbell School-N.
Carolina, Michigan Basket Bash, Silver Dollar City-Missouri, Michigan
Spring Event, Michigan Crossroad Weavers, and at many other state and
local workshops. She has had several articles in national magazine.
She has been a member of the Greater Flint Art Council, has displayed
her work locally at the Left Bank Gallery, Flint, Mich. Sandy is also
the coordinator of Mid-Michigan Basket Makers Guild, a member of the
Association of Michigan Basket Makers, and Swartz Creek Art Guild. She
also has completed many hours towards an art degree.