Marilyn Evans and William Stevens, two self taught weavers, have taken willow structure weavings from simple basketry into the realm of woven sculpture and three dimensional wall art. Indeed, their work has won not only Best of Fiber but Best of Sculpture at western state art shows from Scottsdale and Sedona to Sun Valley and Sausalito.
Marilyn has been weaving for nearly twenty years. Her craft focus was fine bead work until she spent a summer day visiting with her sister in Illinois and learning the amenities of basic wicker weaving. Upon her return to Montana she went to the river to find willow, bulrushes and cattail and in a few sunlit, riverside hours she was ensnared. Her background is still manifest in the embellishments which are the finishing touch of nearly every piece.
William joined her thirteen years ago, bringing with him an attraction to and avocation of form and coloration previously founded in ceramics.
Their collaboration is nearly total as every piece reflects the input and influence of their shared vision, and beyond that, the great majority of their work has both their hands on each creation. William is often the "what" of the work. Marilyn is almost always the "how."
In the spring and fall each year they travel to various river valleys, from the Tobacco Roots and Flathead in the northwest corner of Montana to the Beaverhead and Big Hole in the southwest part of the state. There they pick the bundles of willow wands and dogwood shoots which are the "bones," the foundation of each individual creation.