Dakotah Designs

      "Work, where you can,

               in the spirit of Nature,

                    with an invisible hand of art."
                              Wm. Wordsworth

About Kathleen

M. Kathleen Ewing is a 3rd generation fiber artist. At a very young age her mother and grandmother encouraged her learning traditional crafts of sewing, quilting and needlework. As she grew older her interests expanded to cover just about any craft you can name but in her 30s discovered basketry and found her niche. A working artist since 1995, she has been a guest teacher at schools and art centers from Michigan to Texas along with doing many fine art shows throughout the country. While primarily self-taught she has also studied with several nationally known basket makers. Her award winning work has won best of show at several art shows and is owned by collectors as far away as Japan and Germany. From teaching to exhibiting she has shown her talents in galleries and venues across the country from teaching in the West Bloomfield School District in West Bloomfield, Michigan and at Winsboro Center for the Arts in Winsboro, Texas to exhibiting at the Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest in Dayton, Ohio, along with the Edom Festival of the Arts held in Edom, Texas 

Artist Statement

 I can’t remember a time I didn’t create. My parents used to send me to my room in an effort to punish me when I had  mis behaved but had to come up with something else once they realized it wasn’t really a punishment because I was drawing and having fun. After the painting a mural on my bedroom wall incident they never made that mistake again! My parents were of the old school, practical people. How could art help you make a living and why did you need to create to make yourself happy? They just didn’t get it when I tried to explain, What did being happy have anything to do with making a living? They wanted me to have a Real job, one that I could make a living at, meaning I would be financially secure.


So I worked as a floral designer for almost 30 years. It allowed me a way to express myself on a daily basis so I got my creativity itch scratched but it still wasn’t enough.


My formal art education consisted of 4 years of high school art classes and from there I went out on my own. If I was interested in something I bought a couple of books on the subject and jumped in feet first. I dabbled in just about everything till I discovery basketry and I found something I love to do. I took a basic class and went from there. A year after my first class with the encouragement of my friends I started doing shows and it’s just grown from there.


While there are still many mediums I’d love to learn about and play with, basketry is what I keep coming back to. It allows me so many different ways to express myself. It allows me reconnect to the earth and to work with what nature gives us. Bones, antlers, gourds, plants and pieces of nature all speak to me of times past. They reconnect us to the past when we lived and worked closer to the earth. It makes me a happier more complete person.


I often have people I meet tell me they wish they were creative like me. Don’t let anyone tell you are not creative.




 We are all creative in our own ways. You start with something you like and take baby steps. You build your creativity and your ability with each thing you create. Mona Lisa was not painted on the first try!!! So what if it doesn’t turn out exactly how you envisioned it, just keep going and build on each thing.


It’s like going thru life. Sometimes things turn out like you planned and sometimes they don’t but you still keep going. You just have to remember to smile, have fun and enjoy the journey!!!






 There's more to Dakotah Designs

 than just me.  

Joe, my husband, is my Support Staff.

 He's the guy who does all the geeky techie stuff it takes to run a business and frees up my time so I can create.


(Besides, computers and I don't really get along.)  


You'll find him at the shows with me doing his level best to keep me from being so hyper. 


Love, encouragement, freedom to be myself 

         and  he does heavy lifting.          

    Who could ask for more???? 

My Quality Control Staff consists of Grace (on the left) and Fiona (on the right). They are responsible for making sure each basket is made to their high standards. They lay at my feet, carefully watching to make sure I don't make any mistakes. They also let me know when its time to take a break by using the cold wet nose maneuver under my arm. It gets me every time!!! (Mostly the break is for them because they are bored and want me to play with them!!!) 
In Jan of 2013 my beloved Fiona crossed over the Rainbow Bridge..
She was a one of a kind, gentle soul who loved everyone. Everyone who knew her loved her.  I will carry her in my heart always. I can not express how much I loved and depended on her. I miss her so much.
Grace keeping me company as I weave
Shes usually within sight watching me if not on top of the reed on the floor as I weave