The Lost Arts

My project, Cambium Lost Arts, is one dedicated to the exploration of any form of art or craft that has either been lost entirely or is dwindling as a result of industrialization and modern business efficiencies. What inspires my art is the conviction that old, discarded things can become new again. This is the animating spirit of lost art revival. Human innovation is remarkable—our curiosity, ingenuity, & desire to live beautifully & simply lead us to do great things—but this is all too often sacrificed for the sake of profit & power. So many astounding human innovations have been left for dead, despite having so much left to give. I aim to give them new life by showing that they can still be relevant, joyful, & progressive.

Currently my focus is on hand-split white oak basketry in the Appalachian style—a journey that began in a used bookstore. This lost art originated with Cumbrian spelk basketry, and was brought to America with the English settlers where it was adapted and expanded upon throughout history. It was a craft practiced widely in Appalachia up until the early 20th century, when baskets became machine made, making them cheaper, less labor intensive, less structurally sound, and less beautiful. I aim to change that.

Each basket begins with a native white oak tree, sustainably harvested from my land in the Catskill Mountains, which I then carefully split—using only an axe and knife—to create thin, pliable strips. These strips become the frames for the baskets, each of which is a one-of-kind piece that takes approximately 28 hours to painstakingly make by hand. The strength and durability of white oak, crafted in an ancient style with updated forms, allows these baskets to last for generations, even with generous use.


Artist Amy Krone Harvesting a White Oak Tree for Baksetmaking