Master Basket Maker
Mary May, of Forked River, NJ is a master basketmaker specializing in South Jersey white oak baskets and basket traditions. She has researched and compiled extensive information on baskets and basketmakers from local historical societies, museums and private collections. Mary May is a regular demonstrator at the Tuckerton Seaport, New Jersey Forestry Interpretive Center, and the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, and she is a teaching artist in the Jersey Shore Folklife Center’s Jersey Traditions outreach program. Her baskets have been on display at the Tuckerton Seaport and the New Jersey State Museum, and she travels the state as part of the Jersey Shore Folklife Center’s “Jersey Traditions” outreach program. She has been featured on Ebru TV’s “Blank Canvas” and NJN’s “State of the Arts” and serves on the Jersey Shore Folklife Center’s Folklife Advisory Board. As with many traditional artists, Mary May’s craft is a family effort. Her husband built her a studio and makes custom tools for weaving her baskets. Many days you will find Mary designing and making baskets in her custom built studio. Her focus is weaving traditional New Jersey baskets such as berry baskets, pound fish baskets, eel fykes, pack baskets, and market baskets.