Stephanie (Wood) Craig (Dayton) is one of few basket-weavers in the Grand Ronde tradition. The family stories Craig grew up with continue to spur her on. She has now taught over 5000 students in the Pacific Northwest region, California, and Utah, saying, "the best...I can do to keep this going is to teach as many people as I can."
Stephanie Craig is of Santiam and Yoncalla Kalapuya, Takelma Rogue River, Cow Creek Umpqua, and Clackamas Chinook descent and a traditional basket weaver, tradition keeper, ethnobotanist, ceremonial fisher, and traditional foods practitioner. Growing up, family members' stories gave Craig her initial sense of purpose. As she reached adulthood, she was drawn to her family's basket-weaving tradition--seven-generations deep on her mother's side. Besides her early and informal apprenticeships with elders on the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde reservation, The Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, Suquamish Indian Tribe, and the Lummi Nation, Craig has studied under three of the most accomplished Tribal basket makers in Oregon - the late Sanda "Sam" Henny of the Grand Ronde Tribe, the late Minerva Soucie of the Burns-Paiute Tribe, Pat Courtney Gold (Wasco) - and renowned anthropologist Margaret Mathewson. Following the tradition, which encompasses all aspects of basket making, Craig harvests all her own material--beaked and California hazel, sandbar and gray willow, juncus, tule, and cattails--all from old traditional sites and other closely guarded gathering spots in the mountains. Harvesting involves first going out and trimming the plants, waiting a year, and then collecting the new, straighter growth. Craig often works with cedar bark, sedges and rushes, too, since these materials were traditionally used in weaving.
For Craig, holding a woven basket, "is being able to hold history and tell the story of the weaver." The object embodies the accumulated knowledge that tradition keepers have transmitted through time and space, from one basket weaver to the next. Craig's basketry displays nature's gifts as well as intangibles: her feelings, her good heart, even the laughter and stories that played out as the work evolved. Adorned with the traditional "111" tattoo on her chin, Craig honors her Native heritage as well as the womanhood, beauty, and strength she brings to her art and through her way of life.
2018 Washington County Historical Museum, Portland Oregon, Kalapuya exhibit, featured artist
2018 Independence Heritage Museum, Independence Oregon, permanent Kalapuya exhibit- nstayka íli?i: Our Land., featured artist and curator
2017-2018 Lane County Historical Museum, Eugene Oregon, Their Hearts Are In This Land: Native Resilience in Western Oregon, featured artist
2017-2018 University of Washington, Seattle Washington, Burke Museum's Bill Holm Center Visiting Artist/Researcher grant awardee.
2017-2018 University of Washington, Seattle Washington, Burke Museum's Bill Holm Center Workshop grant awardee.
2015 Columbia Basin Basketry Guild, Portland Oregon, Multnomah Art Center gallery show, featured artist.
2015 Erickson Building, Portland Oregon, Art Installation permanent exhibit, Sasquatch Berry Gathering Basket, featured artist.
2015 University of Oregon, Eugene Oregon, Native American Winter Art Show, All My Relations, featured artist.
2014 University of Oregon, Eugene Oregon, Native American Winter Art Show, First Frost, featured artist.
2014 Oregon State Fair, traditional basketry, Western Red and Yellow Cedar Haida style basket, 1st place.
2013 Lane County Arts Council, Eugene Oregon; First Friday Art Walk (January), featured artist and presenter.
2011-2012 Willamette Heritage Center, Salem Oregon; shawash ill?i thluchman - nstayka ikanun; Grand Ronde Women - Our Story. Featured artist and co-curator.
2010-2011 University of Oregon's Museum of Natural and Cultural History; Eugene, Oregon "We Are Still Here" Stephanie M. Wood Exhibit.
Burke Museum, Willamette Heritage Center, Washington County Historical Museum, Independence Heritage Museum, Seattle Children's Museum also have Stephanie's weavings in their permanent collections.
Basketry workshops for youth and adults, ethnobotany workshops, traditional ecological knowledge, as well as presenter.
Please contact artist.
The OFN recommends that artists/culture keepers receive a fee of at least $250 plus travel expenses. Please contact artists directly.