March is Meet the Maker Month and although I myself am an artist I wanted to share with you a maker that was influential in my life. This is Grandpa Ben. Grandpa Ben was a tall and big man. During his life he had various jobs, working for the railroad, driving truck, digging using an excavator and gardening. He was also renowned for his ability to eat—once he ate a stack of 14 pancakes and it was also rumored that he ate 18 of my mother’s sloppy joe sandwiches in one sitting. He was important to me because he was a maker, a tinker, a whittler, a gardener, and sometimes even at age 85 an axe wielding lumberjack. He loved to make things with wood and bits of stuff laying about. Once he whittled some little red shoes-just like Dorothy’s for a friend of mine who was making a giant puppet for a college class. My most favorite thing he made was Garden Gathering Baskets. A wood basket with a sturdy handle and a screen bottom so that you could place a vegetable in the basket and the dirt would drop off or could be washed off. This June at Bare Knuckle Arts we are going to make a Garden Gathering Basket. While you are waiting for those veggies to grow…Come build your own gathering basket. Useful for gathering herbs, vegetables, even eggs from the chicks. They also work great as a decorative accent in your home.