Stephen and Tamberlaine Zeh are collaborators in fashioning beautiful, classic woven baskets. Stephen is a Maine basketmaker whose work follows in the traditions of Native American and Shaker basketry, woven from brown ash that he collects himself. Each log of brown ash is pounded to separate the layers of the wood into strips, which are then scraped by hand to create a smooth and elegant material that can then be interwoven to form the fabric of the basket.
In this way, Stephen is following in the footsteps of basketmakers for generations before him. His background in basketry comes from both personal experience, and tutelage by Eddie Newell, a basketmaker of Penobscot Indian heritage. The process is the same as that used by , an intensive effort that when combined with skill produces beautiful vessels that are almost illuminated in their fine tan coloration.
Stephen works with his wife, Tammy, in making these sublime containers for the soul. Using their knowledge of weaving, he and Tammy collaborate on making miniature baskets, often made in the shape of an acorn, woven from gold thread as jewelry. In both large and small scale, their work is impeccable, warm, and compelling in their intricacy.