Bill Gould

Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2014

Image of Bill and Sherry Gould
Bill and Sherry Gould

Bill Gould lives in Warner, NH with his wife Sherry. They were both born and raised in New Hampshire. Together they raised their two daughters in Warner. Bill is a lumberman by trade. They celebrate their Abenaki heritage and love making beautiful baskets.

Together Sherry and Bill studied utilitarian Abenaki basket-making in 2006 under master artist Newt Washburn of Bethlehem, NH. Bill has taught Steve Lewko Abenaki utility basket making for two years through an award from the NH Arts Council, Traditional Arts program.

In 2011 Bill, together with Jesse Lacquer started the NH/VT Abenaki Basketmakers Alliance.

 Artist Statement

I like to make baskets. My life and livelihood revolves around wood. Basket making ties my love of wood to my Native American heritage. I got started back when my wife needed molds and tools to make her baskets. Eventually, I worked with Newt Washburn; I learned to identify brown ash trees, cut them, pound them and prepare the wood into strips for splints and weavers or handles or rims.

I love working with a crooked knife; it allows me to feel the wood. Newt taught me to try different methods and do what works best for me. I like a certain method of joining my swing handles; instead of using a small brass nail, I weave a tail of the wood through itself. I think that works good. It is especially rewarding for me to hold a finished basket in my hands, knowing that I have made good choices about using the right pieces of wood and preparing them with skill.

In my daily work, I harvest trees, saw them into boards, provide slabs for boiling sap to syrup, provide lumber to build things like houses or furniture, renovate my home and heat my house with it. Basket making requires no modern technology to create something visually pleasing that is as functional today as it was 200 years ago. I want to do my part to preserve this timeless culture. When people see my basket, I’d like them to see its art form and to see themselves using it.

Contact Info

Email:  billgould@tds.net

Website: Western Abenaki Baskets

 Demonstrations

 2013

  • Discovering Your Native American Roots, Franklin Pierce Homestead, Hillsboro, NH
  • Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Harvest Moon Festival,  Warner, NH
  •  Lee Farm Fiber Festival  

2012     

  • Nulheganaki. Island Pond, VT
  • Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Harvest Moon Festival,  Warner, NH

 2011 

  • “New Hampshire Open Doors”
  •  Harvest Moon Festival,  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  • Town of Holderness 250th Celebration, Holderness, NH
  • The Hillsboro Historical Society., Hilsboro, NH
  • Franklin Pierce Homestead,  ,NH

2010   

Cornish Fair, Cornish, NH

2009    

League Of NH Craftsmen Fair

2008

Saratoga Native American Festival, Saratoga, NY

Exhibits

2014     

  • “Traditional Sources, Contemporary Visions” – Invitational Group Art Exhibit
  • Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

2011     

Basket Trail, Warner Historical Society, Warner, NH.

2010     

  • Baskets and Boxes, Gallery 205, LNHC, Concord, NH
  • New England-Based Indigenous Artists, Diamond Library, UNH, Durham, NH
  • Walking with Us – Honoring the Northeast Native American Heritage, Mill Brook 

Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Concord, NH.

2009     

  • Tomorrow’s Masters, Hopkinton Historical Society, Hopkinton, NH
  • First People of the Northeast, Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Concord, NH

2007    

Gallery 205, League of New Hampshire Craftsman (LNHC), Concord, NH.

Consultations

  •  “Abenaki Basket Trail” Organizing consultant, sponsored by Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Hopkinton Historical Society, Newbury Historical Society, Warner Historical Society, New Hampshire Historical Society (2009-2011)
  •  “Hillsboro, NH Living History Event” Implementing a Native American component to this annual event. For 2011 funding from the NH Council on the Arts paid three Native American artists to present. For 2012 historic presentation of an early 19th century Abenaki basket maker tourist camp with sales will be integrated to the program on Jones Road. (2010 – present)
  • “Holderness 250th Anniversary” Arranged Native American artisians to demonstrate beadwork, basketmaking and flute making. Also a woods walk, “The Feast at our Feet” (2011)

 Awards

  • Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant NH Council on the Arts, Steve Lewko intern, Warner, NH, 2012
  • Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant NH Council on the Arts, Steve Lewko intern, Warner, NH, 2013

Affiliations

  • NH/VT Abenaki Basketmakers Alliance
  • League of New Hampshire Craftsman (2009-present)
  • Northeast Basket Makers Guild (2010-present)
  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association