By Rick Morwick
Sandy Godich vividly recalls her introduction to what would become a lifelong, albeit off-and-on, hobby.
“About 65 years ago I wove my first basket for the basket-weaving badge in Girl Scouts,” said Godich, a resident of The Barrington of Carmel. “That was probably somewhere in the early ’50s, and I didn’t make another basket until the mid-’90s.”
These days, Godich, 74, spends much of her spare time weaving baskets. Not just any baskets, but intricate items ranging in size from the diameter of a nickel to a full bushel container.
An exhibit of Godich’s work was recently on display in The Barrington’s Art Studio. Each of the 52 items in the collection were functional baskets of various sizes, hand-weaved from an array of materials with unique designs and patterns.
“I have worked in pine needle baskets. I have made baskets out of birch bark and copper wire,” Godich said. “I’ve made baskets out of reed, which is what you see commercially these days. Some of the smallest ones I’ve made are made out of wax linen.”
Janine Short, director of sales at The Barrington, regards Godich’s baskets as something considerably more than the products of a hobby.
“Her work is amazing. Her baskets are works of art,” Short said. “She has a loom where she weaves rugs, wall hangings and scarfs. She even teaches basket weaving to the residents.”
Godich, a retired high school teacher from Illinois, moved into The Barrington in September 2016. She resumed basket weaving after taking another lengthy hiatus in the mid-2000s.
Her projects take anywhere from a couple of hours to complete to a couple of weeks, depending on the size, scope and intricacy.
“I like the idea of making something I can use. I use most all of the baskets that are on display,” Godich said. “I wove a cornucopia and I use it at Thanksgiving. I wove a Santa’s sleigh, and that only comes out at Christmas. Others I use on a daily basis. I just like working with my hands to create something that is decorative and useful. It’s relaxing and you can be creative.”
Godich’s exhibit, which was not open to the public, ran May 30 to June 24.