Woven Art: Baskets by James Carthel

Nestled in the senior living community near Kellogg Creek, Milwuakie (south of Portland) lives the enigmatic basket weaver, James Carthel. A retired school principal and native of Texas, James, now in his 80’s, focuses most of his time on gardening and basket making.

Using everything from Poplar to Cedar, Yucca and Grape and from Kudzu to Walnut, James has become versed in most of the known basket fibers in North America.


No great basket maker, however, is complete without using unappreciated fibers! Below, James’ mini recycled plastic baskets.

Nothing is not of the Earth...
— James Carthel

An avid member of the Columbia Basin Basketry Guild, learning closely from native elders, as well as once a board member of the Texas Basket Weavers Association, James has honed his talents and is recognized in Oregon, around the country and even internationally - when I visited with James he had just been in contact with weavers in St. Petersburg, Russia. Keeping this art alive has been Jame’s commitment to his natural environment.