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a taste of nantucket

Nancy Hedberg is an artist focusing in the mediums of mosaic, beadwork, glass wind chimes and painted furniture.
She also weaves Nantucket Lightship style baskets that can take as long as three weeks to complete from start to finish.
Each basket has demands of its own, and Hedberg resists replicating her work time after time, preferring to move on to other styles.
Each type of Nantucket Lightship basket has a specific mold and base, and each step in the process is time consuming and exacting.
In the last 20 years, Hedberg has made 115 baskets that are numbered and tracked.

“I’ve made less since I moved into this house,” she said. “The house, the yard and the garden have all taken a lot of my time. There’s always something to be working on, but this is what I love to do, and I feel contented when I’m standing here weaving.

Hedberg has a detached studio in back of the house, but she also works in the sunny, enclosed side porch, beading, making wind chimes, and creating the fine Nantucket Lighthouse baskets for which she is known.

“When I get started, I don’t want to stop,” said Hedberg, who works at a waist-high table. “I stop when I come to a natural stopping place.”

“My father learned to weave the baskets and when I went home for a week one summer he convinced me I ought to try it,” she said. “I’ve been making them ever since, and that was in 1988.

Her father makes the molds for the baskets out of many different kinds of wood such as black walnut, cherry and purple heart which is from South America. Although he has encouraged her to learn the art of turning the molds, Hedberg prefers the ones her father makes.

“When I need something, he will do it for me,” she said, “but he’s trying to get me to learn to do my own, now. My molds and bases are not as pretty as his and they may never be, but I do have a talented brother who can help me if need be.”