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Cape Cod Baskets
baskets, gourds, wreaths
"Self-taught basket designer and weaver Debra Cumming’s interest in crafts harks back to her childhood.
Cumming, a resident of Bourne who displays and sells her work at Artisans in the Square in downtown Hingham, recalls growing up in Norwell within walking distance of the Wishing Well, where craft supplies were sold. Her frequent visits there sparked an interest in working with her hands.
“That’s where I spent my money — on all kinds of crewel, embroidery, and other projects,” Cumming said.
The women in her family taught her different types of handwork, so it’s not surprising to learn that she has been weaving since age 10.
For more than 25 years, Cumming has created colorful, one-of-a-kind, three-dimensional hand-woven sculptures and vessels decorated with nautical elements and inspirations or a floral motif. The scallop shell — a symbol of abundance and prosperity -- imbedded into the “God’s Eye,” or focal point, of each basket is her “signature” and represents an authentic piece of Cape Cod heritage.
Cumming collects most of the shells herself. “I go to the beach almost every day just to look for shells,” she said.
The baskets are her “canvas.” “I like to add lots of color and texture and different materials to make my work unique,” she said. “Creating the design, the idea, for the piece and all its components and embellishments is the best part of me.”