Next artist, mark catman, birch bark basket maker & instrument builder

mark 300 dpi DSCN3498

as our next introduction, BAM VT, because art matters vermont, would like to present mark catman, a resident of pawlet, vt.  he lives in “the brightest colored house” in town.  right behind the post office sits the bright orange house with multi-colored trims.  this is also the home of the mini gallerie, Gallerie Winking Trout.  stop in some time.  small selection but a fun place to visit.

mark has been making baskets of all sorts–fishing creels, lady’s handbags, baskets, backpacks, vases, utensil holders, for some 25 years.  his work has been featured in ralph kyloe books, the rustic furniture show in blue mountain lake, ny, the adirondack museum, and a vast array of galleries, amongst others.

using largely traditional methods–just bark from dead and down birch trees, roots, and branches from all local plants, he creates his one of a kind pieces.  leather is added to make them wearable.  some recent work:

emailable swirl handbag top DSCN3885 apps

emailable creel top DSCN3892 apps

emailable pack basket DSCN3893

he also builds funky guitars from maple syrup cans, or whatever he can find lying around that would make a good instrument and “strumboxes”, a term he uses for his multi-stringed handmade instruments made from old cigar boxes.

here’s a sample of the instruments:


two-can-that's-one-can-guitar-DSCN7027 strumbox-3-string-DSCN7035 elroy-guitar-DSCN7024

the left-most one’s name is two can that’s now one can.  it had been a double can instrument, but it is now just one and is electric.  elroy, the right one, will be electric but is now acoustic.  a pick-up solves that.  the middle one is a strumbox.

pop into Gallerie Winking Trout, right behind the pawlet post office on route 30.  even if the sign (which is an oar) says closed, it probably isn’t.  forgetfulness rules there.  as you can see from his picture, he’s very friendly and smiley.  his email is and the phone is 802.325.2319.

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