Sr. Helene Mertes, osf Basket Weaver

About 15 years ago, while planning jobs and activities at St. John Villa, Carrollton, OH ….Baskets 2

In her own words, Sr. Helene describes her initial venture into basket making: 

“With a few days of practice with an experience basket maker, five cognitively delayed individuals and I began learning and producing a variety of baskets, all learning as we went.  Often we would make a number of a certain pattern, helping each other out on the difficult parts.  They were sold in the gift shop or used as gifts.  One of the ladies even made a large clothes hamper”.

Baskets in shopSince leaving Ohio and returning to Milwaukee about 5 years ago,  Sr. Helene has continued making baskets, learning new techniques through classes and her own self-study, along with a lot of trial and error. 

Along with the creativity of her basket making, Sr. Helene manages the gift shop, Corner Stone Cards & Gifts,  located at St. Francis Convent in Saint Francis, Wisconsin.  She is also very involved with the environment at the motherhouse, such as gardening and wetland restoration.  In some quite moments she can also be found writing poetry.