Jim Bassler (b. 1933) was introduced to the textile traditions at an early age from his father. The Cold War strategies gave him the opportunity to see the world and introduced him to the craft traditions of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The ethnic textiles that inspired him during his travels became the foundation for his work. His weavings also draw inspiration from pre-Columbian, Andean, and Mexican textile traditions.
He received his BA and MA from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he taught for 25 years at the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture. He also helped to establish the fiber/textile program at the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, Tennessee and has taught at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and the Penland School of Crafts.