Tlingit Basket by Preston Singletary

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By Preston Singletary

Glass artist Preston Singletary creates contemporary interpretations of Tlingit baskets in blown and sand-carved glass. Traditional Tlingit baskets are woven from spruce pine roots. 

Translucent dark purple with opaque navy lip wrap.

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Explore related artwork by Preston Singletary at the Chrysler Museum

Product Details

  • #B23-24
  • Product type: Glass Tlingit Basket
  • Shipping Dimensions: 5.0  × 5.5 × 5.5 inches
    (12.7  × 14.0 × 14.0 cm)
  • Shipping Weight: 12.0 lb (192.0 oz; 5443 g)
  • SKU010008733

About the Artist, Preston Singletary

Preston Kochéin Singletary (b. 1963, San Francisco; lives in Seattle) is an internationally recognized glass artist of Tlingit descent.

Singletary began blowing glass at the Glass Eye studios in Seattle, WA in 1982. He developed his skills as a production glass maker, and attended the Pilchuck Glass School, going on to work at the glass studio of Benjamin Moore. There, he broadened his skills by assisting Dante Marioni, Richard Royal, Dan Dailey and Lino Tagliapietra, and started to develop his own work. In 1993, a professional trip to Sweden led to the influence of Scandinavian design, and the introduction to his future wife, Åsa Sandlund.

In 2000 Singletary received an honorary name from elder Joe David (Nuu Chah Nulth), a significant moment in his relationship to his Tlingit ethnicity, and self-acceptance as a keeper of cultural knowledge. Over forty years of glass making, creating music and working together with elders, he has continued to forge new directions in use of materials and in concepts of Indigenous arts with Indigneous practitioners internationally.

Singletary’s works of public art have been installed in multiple locations in the Northwest; other works are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Seattle Art Museum; the Ethnographic Museum, Stockholm; The National Museum of Scotland; The British Museum; and The Smithsonian National Museum of The American Indian, among others. Two solo exhibitions he originated with the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, have travelled nationally. One of these, “Raven and the Box of Daylight,” curated by Dr. Miranda Belarde-Lewis, is currently on view at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

Preston Singletary’s work is represented by Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe; Schantz Galleries, Stockbridge; and Traver Gallery, Seattle.

More Information

Objects in this series are titled "Tlingit Basket" and the correct medium is "blown and sand-carved glass." They are created in either the smaller “Berry” size or the larger “Shelf” size.

The baskets that Preston Singletary creates are contemporary glass versions of traditional Tlingit baskets, which were woven from spruce tree roots. Tlingit designs found on historical baskets inspire the designs on these glass baskets. Singletary began making this series around 2004.

The process for making the glass baskets is complex—it involves first blowing the glass form with two layers of glass (for example: a cream color over red) and wrapping a bead of hot glass around the lip.

When the basket has cooled, a stencil is applied to the surface, to create the larger basket designs, and then strips of custom-made tape are applied over the stencil, first vertically, then horizontally in a spiral in order to create the basket weave design. The whole surface is deeply sandblasted (called sand-carving) once, then the spiral of tape is removed, then it is sandblasted a second time, and finally the vertical lines of tape are removed.

Everything that is covered with the stencil is not exposed to the sandblasting process. After the last sand blasting, the entire stencil is removed to reveal the textured basket design.

Finally, it is given a light sandblasting (called frosting) and coated with a special finish called Liquid Luster, to protect the now porous glass and give it its characteristic low sheen.

Download this information as a printable PDF.

Shipping & Pickup

Due to the delicate nature of this item, we take extra care in packaging for shipping. Shipping costs for this item are slightly higher than our normal rates due to the extra packing material required. 

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Thank You for your Support

Your purchase supports the mission and programs of the Chrysler Museum of Art (including the Perry Glass Studio, and the Moses Myers House). We couldn't do what we do without you. Thank you.

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