Gabriel Frey (Artist Profile)

Gabriel Frey is a 12th generation Passamaquoddy basketmaker who grew up watching his grandfather Fred Moore make traditional work basket–packs, laundry and fish scale baskets. In addition to learning how to weave baskets, he was also taught the entire process of preparing brown ash to make the baskets: from selecting and harvesting brown ash trees to pounding logs to produce splints, as well as splitting and gauging the material. Gabriel is one of the few contemporary basket makers who has this knowledge, and he is passing it on to future generations. This comes at a particularly critical time as brown ash trees are being threatened by the invasive emerald ash borer.

Gabriel specializes in weaving packs, pack purses, shoppers, and work baskets. He often incorporates twilled weaving techniques, the use of vegetal dyes made from logwood, madder root and black walnut, and leather work. He also collaborates with other artists for silverwork and beadwork. In 2019, Frey received a USA Artists fellowship. His work is coveted by collectors and museums everywhere, and has won numerous awards.

Together with Suzanne Greenlaw, he is the co-author of The First Blade of Sweetgrass (2021), which tells how their daughter Musquon learned the art of gathering sweetgrass from her grandmother basketmaker Gal Frey.

For more information about Gabriel Frey, please visit: or visit his website and Instagram page.

Photo – Gabriel Frey (Ash Basket)

Gabriel Frey Ash Basket HM9218
Ash Basket by Gabriel Frey (HM9218)

Video – Gabriel Frey (Making ash baskets – from harvest through final weaving)

Upcoming 2023 Wabanaki Winter Market (Saturday, December 9, 2023) :

Organized by the Hudson Museumthe Wabanaki Winter Market is New England’s largest holiday gathering of Wabanaki artists. The annual december event features Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance award-winning weavers, as well as new artists representing the next generation of weavers.

The event is supported in part by grants from the Maine Office of Tourism and the Onion Foundation

Location of the event: The Collins Center for the Arts (2 Flagstaff Road|Orono, Maine)
Date: Saturday, December 9, 2023 (from 9 am to 3 pm)
Contact: Gretchen Faulkner | Director, Hudson Museum (207.581.1904)

For event updates, please visit: