Paul Willer (b. 1930)

“Paul Willer was born in Massena, New York, and spent much of his life living in New York City. He moved to Nantucket with his partner Peter Guarino in 1971, where they owned and operated ‘The House of Orange’ an inn that sits a few steps up Orange Street from.

During that time, Paul became a self-taught master basket maker. He was inspired by Edgar Seeler.

Paul has made over 2000 baskets of many different shapes and designs in his career including bud vases, candy dishes, salts and cracker baskets. While he has never made a traditional ladies covered handbag, he did design his own version of a ditty bag with a cloth closure. Paul and Peter sold The House of Orange in 2004 and Paul has since retired from weaving.

Paul’s baskets are very decorative and collectable. One can easily recognize a Willer basket because of the consistency in fine craftsmanship. Each basket is constructed with flat oak staves, finished with yellow shellac and has rims that are not nailed. He frequently attaches delicate double handles with bone knobs.” ~ Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum