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Gift pick No. 8: Karl Vidstrand barbed wire baskets

November 09, 2013|By Craig Nakano
  • One of Karl Vidstrand's wire and branch baskets, full of barbs and thorns, at the HumanArts Gallery in Ojai. Other designs are baskets without handles, sometimes ornamented with buttons and beads.
One of Karl Vidstrand's wire and branch baskets, full of barbs and… (HumanArts Gallery )

For the next installment of our Handmade Holiday Gift Guide, we turn to the Ojai Art Festival, running through Nov. 24 -- a celebration of work made from trash and meant to provoke questions about waste. That's where, if you're lucky, you'll see the barbed wire baskets of Karl Vidstrand.

The artist scavenges in the Mojave, near where he lives, for the desert detritus that accents his pieces. What's intriguing about the resulting designs is that they subversively prevent each basket from performing its function: holding stuff. The wire barbs and thorny branches are deterrents to accumulation.

Vidstrand's baskets are meant to stand as stark sculpture, and they're priced as such. The one that caught our eye at the HumanArts Gallery in Ojai is $900. For more on the trash-themed art show, go to

Bookmark us and look for more Handmade Holiday Gift Guide picks, including more budget-minded suggestions, every day through Christmas Eve.

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