Jane Whitten

Contemporary basketmaker and knitter creating functional and dysfunctional pieces using traditional and non-traditional materials

I am a basket maker and knitter presently living in Summerside, Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada. Born in Australia, I have spent much of my adult life in eastern Canada learning to make baskets and establishing my craft practice. At the same time, I worked as a teacher and special education consultant in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Nova Scotia, and later in Australia. 

Although I have been knitting since I was a child it wasn’t until the 1980s when I was living on Fogo Island, NL, that I started creating my own award-winning knitting designs. In the 1990s after I had moved to Nova Scotia I  was introduced to basketry through the NS Basketry Guild where I received intensive training from locally celebrated basket makers Joleen Gordon, Eileen Hubley, and Heather Sanft. Since then I have advanced my creative work with internationally known contemporary basket makers Lois Walpole, Hisako Sekijima, Lissa Hunter, John Garrett, and Jackie Abrams.  

There is a great similarity in the way I have approached problem-solving in my teaching and in my craft. A goal is set – learning to read or making a basket.  A starting point is found – basic skill level or a pile of material. And then the fun begins – exploring the options for getting from one to the other! I have a distinctive response to a variety of materials and techniques creating functional and dysfunctional pieces.

Underlying my experimentation with materials, techniques, and structures, is my passion and concern for the environment. These play an important, often subconscious, part in the materials of choice and the final forms I create. 

My basketry and knitting have been exhibited in group and solo shows in Canada, USA, New Zealand, and Australia.   I was nominated for the Canada Council’s 2001 Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in Fine Craft and have won numerous awards for creations. My work is in public and private collections nationally and internationally including Nova Scotia Art Bank, Halifax, Canada; Claridge Collection, Montreal, Canada;  Confederation Center Art Gallery, Charlottetown, Canada; and Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, Canada.

Jane Whitten

Destruction Re-Crafted: Hurricane Fiona Up Close and Personal

Storied : lichen x doily


Consumed 2021

Creative Obsessions – A look at contemporary craft in Prince Edward island

Creative Obsessions – A look at contemporary craft in Prince Edward island

Seaweed and Gut – a collaboration with Nancy Cole

Wreaking Havoc : exhibit statement

Beach Basket

Green Nest

Ice Cores




Ice Caps

Crusty Lace



Beach Rocks


Knitting Our Roots

Island Wanderings


Pack Ice




Breakfast on the Run

upcycled basket

upcycled basket


upcycled basket

Hung out to Dry


upcycled basket

After School Antics

Storm Brewing

seaweed lampshade

seaweed basket

seaweed basket




Caught in the Current #2


From the Bottom of My Pocket

Caught in the Current #1

Jane’s Work Elsewhere


Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Kind Seas, 6 Fitzgerald’s Lane, Bonavista, NL

NL islets (hand knit pots encrusted wth sand)




Nova Scotia

Laurie Swim Gallery, 25 Cornwallis St, Lunenburg, NS

NS islets (hand knit pots encrusted with sand)



Prince Edward Island, Canada


Oh Hey, PEI, Founders Hall, Water St, Charlottetown

PEI islets (hand knit pots encrusted wth sand)



PEI Crafts Council, Centre for Craft, 98 Water St, Charlottetown, PEI

PEI  and NS islets (hand knit pots encrusted wth sand), upcycled baskets




Eptek Art & Culture Centre,  130 Heather Moyse Dr, Summerside