Tradition and Innovation in Basketry IX: National Basketry Organization 2017 Conference


Every other year, NBO provides the opportunity to work with master basket makers at its conference. This five-day conference is built around three and 1/2 days of workshops with national and international basket makers who both excel at their craft and have proven to be good teachers. Most importantly, they love to teach. As the conference moves around the country, NBO focuses on the basket making techniques and materials of the region. The workshops represent the range of basket work being done today from the revival of historical techniques, to the use of traditional materials, to innovative sculptural work.

NBO is pleased to announce the roster of workshops for the Tradition and Innovation in Basketry IX conference to be be held at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, from July 18 to 23, 2017. Registration information will be sent to all NBO members, and registration will begin September 15, 2016. If you are not an NBO member join here. For non-members of NBO, registration opens on October 15, 2016 with an additional non-member fee.
*Above image: Courtesy of University of Puget Sound

In addition to these workshops, there will be a number of additional events:

  • Opening Celebration with keynote speaker Lloyd Herman, who will speak on “Craft into Art – a Century of (R)evolution” and an award ceremony for the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner.
  • Extended workshops and a designated area for open-weave gatherings
  • Our gala and auctions (both silent and live)
  • The opportunity for all attendees to exhibit in More to Consider 2
  • A reception at The American Art Company to view All Things Considered 9
  • A variety of activities, including visits to museums and craft locations in Tacoma



NEW: 2017 Auction Donation Form

NEW:  NBO 2017 Tools List

NEW:  Draft Schedule for 2017 Conference

NEW:  Informational Letter and Conference Events

Campus Map

Information and registration for More to Consider 2


2017 Workshops

*Please note – Workshop photos are of the instructor’s individual work and represent techniques taught. They do not necessarily indicate what will be created in the workshop. Each workshop is 3 1/2 days in length and run concurrently. 

Lanny Bergner - The Art of Metal Mesh Basketry

Lanny Bergner – The Art of Metal Mesh Basketry

Lanny Bergner

The Art of Metal Mesh Basketry

Students will work with various gauges of stainless steel mesh to construct two-fin and four-fin “flame-treated” stainless steel mesh baskets 8-14” in size. They will also explore form variations on these designs. Students will fabricate their baskets using flat nose pliers for twisting the wire seams together and will learn to work with color-coated copper wire to secure and enhance mesh seams and basket rims. They will be taught how to flame-treat mesh to make an image using a propane and butane torch and how to design and cut out 2D patterns from the mesh to make 3D baskets. Students should expect to make two baskets, choosing between two- and four-fin design options.

Skill level required: All levels welcome

Special skills needed for class: Students need to have hand strength to grasp and twist small linesman pliers.

Materials fee: $35. Includes stainless steel mesh, coated wire, propane and butane. Instructor will provide linesman pliers. Download materials and tool list here.

Instructor Bio: Lanny Bergner is a metal mesh sculptor. He received his BFA in sculpture from the University of Washington in 1981 and an MFA from Tyler School of Art in 1983. His work is in the collection of the Seattle Art Museum, Museum of Art and Design, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Central Museum of Textile, Łódź, Poland. In 2005 he won a Gold Prize at the Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Cheongju, Korea. In 2010 he was one of five American artists to exhibit in the 13th International Triennial of Tapestry in Łódź, Poland. He maintains a studio near Anacortes, Washington.

Website: Lanny Bergner.

Danielle Bodine -Paper Vessels - image-1

Danielle Bodine -Paper Vessels

Danielle Bodine


Paper Vessels

In this great class for self-expression, participants will first learn how to construct a vessel using a random weave technique with flat reed and then apply mulberry papers to the surface. Printing, stamping, collaging, photo transfers, and painting applications will be explored. Vessels will then be further embellished. In the second half of the workshop, participants will create tall baskets or vessels using twining techniques with reed on 4- to 6-foot bamboo or willow spokes, cover the structure with mulberry papers and experiment with surface design techniques. There may be time for some fun, quick, random weave mini baskets with natural materials and papers.

This workshop provides an opportunity to experiment with a variety of materials to create one-of-a-kind paper vessels and baskets.

Skill level required: All levels welcome

Materials fee: $50. Includes basket materials, mulberry papers, adhesives, stamp pads, paints, brushes. Download materials and tool list here.

Instructor Bio: Danielle Bodine began her journey into basketry and textiles as an artist, teacher and lecturer over 35 years ago. Her unique sculptural baskets have been exhibited nationally in solo and group shows in museums, galleries, colleges, and art centers and included in numerous books and periodicals. She studied at the University of Washington, Bowling Green University, and received a BFA from the University of Michigan in Weaving and Textile Design. She began experimenting with paper after a trip to Japan in 1996, combining it with a variety of basketry and surface design techniques. Her imaginative pieces range in size from 1” to 8’ and always have a story to tell.

Website:  Danielle Bodine 

Land to sea, small-1

Charissa Brock – Bamboo Splitting and Construction

Charissa Brock

Bamboo Splitting and Construction

Bamboo’s long grain makes it a perfect material to split and use to construct vessels, whether the vessel is a woven form or sewn together. In this class we will learn how to split bamboo radially. Students will get an opportunity to prepare their own material for a basket/vessel using and tangentially splitting and planing with knives, but will have the option to buy material too. We will heat bend the split bamboo and sew it together in conjunction with waxed linen thread and cane to create personalized vessels. Lectures on bamboo art and bamboo horticulture will enhance the student’s technical knowledge.

Skill level required: Advanced

Special skills needed for class: There will be sharp tools used and there is the possibility of getting cut if students are not careful, so prior experience with sharp hand tools is a plus.

Materials fee: $67. Includes waxed linen thread, 15 bamboo splits, cane, use of heat gun and other tools. Download materials and tool list here.

Instructor Bio: Charissa Brock, who works and teaches out of her studio near Portland, Oregon, has been making artwork with natural materials since 1994.  She discovered bamboo as an art material in 1999 while earning her MFA at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Her work has been exhibited widely in the United States and is included in the Arizona State University Museum.  She recently finished a large-scale commission for the Hyatt Regency in Maui. Her most current solo exhibition “Aqueous” was at Riversea Gallery in June 2016. Her work can be found at

Website Charissa Brock

Clay Burnette - Pine Needle Basketry - Utilizing Natural Pine Needles to Create Texture, Pattern, and Free-form Shapes

Clay Burnette – Pine Needle Basketry: Creating Texture, Pattern and Free-Form Shapes

Clay Burnette


Pine Needle Basketry –Creating Texture, Pattern, and Free-Form Shapes

 Explore a non-traditional perspective of coiling using pine needles, waxed linen thread, and the simplest of tools: a large sewing needle. Participants will have the opportunity to explore both traditional and freeform shapes using pine needles gathered by the instructor.  Emphasis will be placed on discovering the endless shapes that can be created by combining the ancient technique of coiling with lots of imagination, time and persistence.  Rather than trimming his pine needles or removing the tips, Clay utilizes the paper-like sheath as a textural element that can be used to define patterns and shapes.  Stitch variations and coil placement will be incorporated into the class experience, as well as lots of tips he has picked up during his 40-year coiling venture.Skill Level Required: Prior coiling experience is a PLUS, but all skill levels are welcome. An open mind is a MUST.  Be prepared to experiment and explore the endless possibilities that coiling allows.

Skill level required: All levels welcome, prior coiling experience a plus.

Material Fee: $46 (approximate). Includes: 8 oz. southern longleaf pine needles, 4” steel sewing needle, two spools 4-ply waxed linen thread   Students may bring their own supplies, but please contact Clay to coordinate. Download materials and tool list here.

Instructor Bio: Clay Burnette has developed his own unique approach to coiled basketry. Since 1977, his longleaf pine needle baskets have been exhibited both nationally and internationally and featured in numerous publications. In 2013, he was awarded Best in Show at the NBO Conference in Gatlinburg, TN. His work was included in a 3-year exhibition in Dakar, Senegal as part of the US Art in Embassies Program, Contemporary International Basketry, which toured Great Britain for two years, as well as Tradition/Innovation: American Masterpieces of Southern Craft & Traditional Art, which toured the southeastern US for five years. 

Website: Clay Burnette

Jill Nordfors Clark - Making Baskets with Gut- Techniques and Inspiration

Jill Nordfors Clark – Making Baskets with Gut- Techniques and Inspiration

Jill Nordfors Clark

Making Baskets With Gut: Techniques and Inspiration

If you are intrigued with the idea of making net-like, non-traditional, sculptural baskets using unusual materials, you will enjoy the infinite possibilities of working with natural hog gut (better known as sausage casing).

The wet gut is an opaque white tube that can be used as a thread, as a way of encasing wire or twigs, or you can create a “gut mache” by slitting the wet tubes lengthwise to make flat pieces, then cutting these into short strips to layer over a mold. Stitched or layered gut will harden in the shape of the mold when dry, and will be transformed into a lustrous, translucent, parchment-like material.

In this workshop, we will construct rectangular or cylindrical basket molds out of foam board, over which we will create a lace-like basket using needle lace stitches (netting, looping) with hog gut as a thread. We will also explore ideas for embellishing a layered gut surface with drawing or painting and embedding natural and found materials in and around the gut layers.

Skill level required: All levels welcome

Material Fee: $45. Includes: hog gut (casing), foam board for making molds, corrugated cardboard, plastic wrap, miscellaneous supplies and basketry materials. Download materials and tool list here.

Instructor Bio: Jill came to the USA from Canada, to earn a degree in interior design from the University of Washington, Seattle. She has authored two books Needle Lace and Needleweaving, and Needle Lace: Techniques and Inspiration. Inspired by native Alaskans’ use of seal and walrus gut to make clothing and vessels, Jill’s work in basketry combines needle lace, natural and found materials, with stitched and layered hog casings. In 2016, Jill’s sculptural baskets were exhibited in the 15th Triennial of Tapestry, Lodz, Poland. Jill has exhibited her work and taught workshops throughout the USA, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.

Website: Jill Nordfors Clark

BarbaraDePirro - The Sculptural Form

Barbara De Pirro – The Sculptural Form

Barbara De Pirro


The Sculptural Form

Discover how De Pirro creates environmental sculptural forms and installations using both reclaimed and organic materials. Explore a range of techniques that transform these found materials into a ‘fiber’ that can be manipulated into dimensional structures. Learn how to employ methods traditionally found in the textile, jewelry, basketry and industrial arts using unconventional materials. In addition to creating samplings of each of the techniques, the class will collaborate in creating a sculptural installation within University of Puget Sound’s Kittridge Gallery. In this process participants will learn how to develop these small ideas into large-scale structures and environments.

Skill level required: All levels welcome

Material Fee: $20. Includes: assorted tools and hardware needed for use in class. Download materials and tool list here.

Instructor Bio: Barbara De Pirro creates environmental, mixed media sculptures and installations.  Her observations of nature have triggered a profound admiration for its brilliance, resilience and its vulnerability. With each project she strives to create a sense of wonder; enticing the viewer to turn that vision outwards into the natural world, nurturing an appreciation, and an understanding of that interconnection and encouraging a sense of protection. De Pirro’s artwork has been commissioned and exhibited nationally, and is also included in many private and corporate collections.  Her installations have been featured at various museums, sculpture parks, biennials, art centers, galleries and public spaces. Additionally De Pirro’s artwork has been published in multiple articles, publications and books.

Website: Barbara De Pirro

Kathey Ervin Exploring Northwest Gold - Western Red Cedar

Kathey Ervin – Exploring Northwest Gold – Western Red Cedar

Kathey Ervin


Exploring Northwest Gold – Western Red Cedar

The workshop will begin with discussion on traditional harvesting practices and preparation of Western red cedar bark leading students to “explore the magic of cedar”. Students may choose to prepare their own weaving strips from raw bark or use prepared material, both options supplied by the instructor. There will be a variety of basket choices for students to weave (e.g., berry baskets, purses, backpacks, contemporary or traditional hats) and to complete in class. These will include written instructions and the opportunity to explore a variety of weaves such as the basic and ‘fancy’ twill work, twining techniques using Alaskan yellow cedar bark, and rim techniques.

Skill Level: A range of projects will be available from beginner to advanced skill level in weaving and twining with cedar bark.

Material fee: Base fee of $65 to all students with additional material fees possible, according to the amounts of materials used, whether you choose to process your own material or not, and the baskets that each individual chooses to weave in class. (More bark used = higher material fee) This will include Western red and Alaskan yellow cedar barks, various molds, and tools. Download materials and tool list here. 

Instructor Bio: Kathey Ervin lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, where she opened her studio in 1983. Originally studying clay, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kansas City Art Institute and a Master of Fine Arts and Fellowship from the University of Illinois. Inspired by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and greatly influenced by the Northwest Native American art, her focus shifted to other materials and she has been weaving with mostly cedar bark during the past twenty years. Kathey’s art has traveled a circuitous journey and she is currently weaving ‘dinnerware’ and accompanying ‘dishes’, cake plates – with woven cakes, teapots, etc.  

Website: Kathey Ervin

Ply-split Braided Baskets in Plain Oblique Twining

David W. Fraser – Ply-split Braided Baskets in Plain Oblique Twining

David W. Fraser


Ply-split Braided Baskets in Plain Oblique Twining   

This class is an introduction to ply-split braiding and hands-on work in cord-making, plain oblique twining and finishing. The material will be 12-ply waxed linen, of various colors, worked into 4-ply cords. Students will learn the major types of ply-split braiding, including plain oblique twining, single-course oblique twining, and two-layer oblique interlacing; how to make 4-ply cords (using an electric drill and rope maker); how to use plain oblique twining to make a basket (using a grip fid or gunthani hand tool); the use of fenestrations or varied combinations of isosceles right triangles to affect a basket’s shape; and alternative methods for finishing the rim. Sizes will vary with the goal of having each student finish a basket during the workshop.
Skill level required: All skill levels are welcome but some hand strength is required.

Material Fee: $70   Includes grip fid or gunthani, hemostat, 500 g of 12-ply waxed linen (350 yards), and duct tape. Download materials and tool list here.

Instructor Bio: David W. Fraser specializes in making vessels worked in ply-split braiding, a technique traditionally used by men in Rajasthan to make straps and other decorative paraphernalia for camels. His work has been juried into numerous national shows and accessioned by top museums. It is featured in his book, “Ply-split Braided Baskets: Exploring Sculpture in Plain Oblique Twining” (Schiffer Publishing, Ltd, 2014). He has also written “A Guide to Weft Twining and Related Structures with Interacting Wefts” (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989), and has been a Research Associate at The Textile Museum and a Consulting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.  

Website: David W. Fraser

collage-2016-07-17 (1)

Explore the Northwest – Baskets and Art

Exploring the Northwest – Baskets and Art


Guide – Lindsay Ketterer Gates

Spend a few days exploring the cultural richness of the Northwest during this ‘hands off’ workshop with your guide, Lindsay Ketterer Gates. The University of Puget Sound will be our launching point each morning and our landing pad each day. We will depart after breakfast and return prior to dinner. We will visit contemporary basket makers, native basket makers, sculptors, art centers, collections and more in Olympia, Tacoma, Everett and Seattle.

One of our first stops will be Jan Hopkins’ home studio , where we will visit with her and Haida artist Lisa Telford, learn more about their work and get a glimpse into their world. We will follow that with a trip to the Shack Art Center to view a special exhibit that Jan has curated and hear a lecture by sculptor John Grade. One day will be spent at the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at Evergreen State College where we will tour their impressive Longhouse, carving and weaving studios and enjoy a special presentation (to be announced). We will venture into Seattle for a private tour of John Grade’s enormous sculpture studio with John as our guide and continue on to the Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum to see some of their baskets and glass treasures. And this is just what we have planned so far!

More details to come as additional special happenings are confirmed. This is a great way to be a part of the conference and community of basket enthusiasts, but also get a special glimpse into the cultural and artistic richness of the area. Keep an eye on the NBO website for the full itinerary as the workshop’s events are finalized!

Workshop includes daily lunch, cost of transportation, and admission to the special planned events and performances.

Material fee: No additional materials fee, but students may find purchasing opportunities at some venuesDownload suggested list for excursion planning here.

Guide Bio: Lindsay Ketterer Gates is a NBO Board member and a studio artist working out of Sparta, New Jersey. Her work is in the permanent collection of the American Embassy in the Republic of Djibouti, The Museum of Art and Design in NYC, Yale University Art Gallery as well as other international collections. Lindsay has both a degree in Fine Arts and a degree in Arts Administration and divides her time between her studio and Peters Valley School of Craft, where she is currently Development Director.

Pat Hickman -Breathing Baskets

Pat Hickman – Breathing Baskets

Pat Hickman

Breathing Baskets

This workshop will encourage participants to explore visual ideas suggested through openwork textile structure—knotted netting and knotless netting. Reserving openings for air and the importance of what is not there will be built into conceptually based quick studies and studio exploration. Materials used will include wire, telephone wire, reeds, waxed linen, and yarn, which has body and holds knots (and form) well. The workshop will be an experience in discovery and questioning, and will provide ongoing ways of working after the workshop is over. Students will become comfortable with netting techniques, both knotted netting and looping, and understand how those can be used to express their ideas in sculptural baskets.

Skill Level: No previous knowledge of these textile techniques is required, but students should bring a willingness to explore and learn. Students will push their own limits of imagination and think about what they have to say in their work.

Material Fee: $20 Includes small, medium and jumbo sized flat plastic netting shuttles, plastic gauges, large curved needle, waxed linen, reeds, and miscellaneous wire. Download materials and tool list here.

Instructor Bio: Pat Hickman taught in the Art Department, University of Hawaii. She lives in Haverstraw, New York. Hickman’s work is in Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, Oakland Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Denver Art Museum, Honolulu Museum, and Hawaii State Art Museum. Hickman’s commission, Nets of Makali’i–Nets of the Pleiades, are the entrance gates for the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Hickman twice received NEA Artist’s Grants. In 2005, elected a Fellow of the American Craft Council, and served as President of the Textile Society of America (2008-2010). Hickman curated exhibits: “Innerskins/Outerskins: Gut and Fishskin” and “Baskets: Redefining Volume and Meaning”.

Website: Pat Hickman 

Katherine Lewis - Colors and Textures, Playing with Willow

Katherine Lewis – Colors and Textures, Playing with Willow

Katherine Lewis


Colors and Textures, Playing with Willow    

Working with selected willows from Katherine’s Washington farm, students will experiment with different weaves, utilizing the many natural colors of the willow. The end result can be a colorful, functional piece or something purely decorative. Willows and willow bark will be woven onto a framework created by a woven base and scallomed on stakes. Numerous weaves will be demonstrated and explored (e.g., weaving a base on a frame, scalloming stakes, exploration of side weaves, and willow border), creating texture in the piece. Each student will have at least one completed project, will have improved their willow skills, and will have the experience playing with and learning about a number of different willow varieties and weaves. Sample weave pieces woven on sticks in a screw block will also be created. Sizes will vary, but 15” diameter and 17” tall baskets would be possible for students traveling by air (boxes to hold baskets that size to ship home can be provided).

Skill level: Intermediate with hand strength required.

Material Fee: $125   Includes all willow and willow bark, Katherine will provide lapboards and screw blocks for use in class and will bring tools that can be borrowed by any student who does not have willow tools or cannot bring them due to travel. Download materials and tool list here.

Instructor Bio: Katherine Lewis began weaving willow baskets in 1992 and now works full time as a basketmaker. She grows a large selection of basketry willows on her farm near Mount Vernon, Washington, allowing her to choose from an array of natural colors. Her goal is to weave baskets that are functional and durable while reflecting the natural beauty of the willows. Several of her baskets were acquired by the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum as part of the Cole Ware Collection. Katherine’s baskets are also in use in hundreds of homes across the country. 

Website: Katherine Lewis


Peeta Tinay – 4 inset Handle Basket

Peeta Tinay

4 Inset Handle Basket    

Students who participate in this class will reinforce their basic fundamental skills of weaving in addition to learning new techniques. The “4 Inset Handle Basket” is made using the technique of twining and has a substantial rolled border. Multiple sizes of round reed are used throughout the basket with a focus on attention to hand placement, tension and shaping. The class will also include discussions on the selection and preparation of materials and finishing techniques for basketry projects. The finished work will be 20” (l) x 20” (w) x 6” (h).

Skill level required: Intermediate/advanced, must have twining experience and hand strength required.

Material Fee: $95  Includes round reed prepared into spoke lengths, weaving lengths and dyed both black and brown. An optional, printed, 14 page full color instruction handout for $20, will be available for purchase during class. Download materials and tool list here.

 Instructor Bio: Peeta Tinay’s love of weaving grew from her wicker furniture restoration background during 1990 to 2000 in Berkeley California. The restoration of antique and contemporary wicker furniture ran the gamut from simple cane wrap replacements on the legs of chairs to full reweaves of chairs, tables, and planters etc. The blending of old to new finishes also became an important part of the restoration work. It was during the early 1990s that she began teaching basketry as well. A move to the Pacific Northwest in spring of 2000 provided the opportunity to start making woven home furnishings from the ground up using her own designs. Peeta’s work today is the culmination of 26 years ranging from woven restoration work, custom woven garment accents for a NYC fashion designer during Fashion Week Spring 2007, work with interior designers and of course her own basket work.   

Website: Peeta Tinay

Shannon Weber - Pacific Sea Kelp

Shannon Weber – Pacific Sea Kelp Pouch

Shannon Weber


Pacific Sea Kelp Pouch

Pacific bullwhip kelp is an interesting, unique material that is worked wet and shares the characteristics of fine grade leather while in that condition. When finished and dried, it becomes hard and has the textural qualities of tree bark. This workshop will focus on using basic to advanced techniques of splitting, layering, stitching, weaving, and appliqué of kelp on kelp for various surface design elements. It will also include options of adding other Northwest Coastal materials such as sea grass roots, grasses, and other coastal organics along with additional embellishment attachments. The collection, storage, and correct drying for kelp will also be discussed in the workshop. Skills used in this workshop as “appliqué” can also be useful options applied to various other kinds of tree barks, vessels, and object inspiration. Sizes will vary.

Skill Level: All skill levels welcome.

Material Fee: $130    Includes Pacific bullwhip sea kelp and other coastal organics harvested, various threads, needles, and some embellishment options. Download materials and tool list here.

Instructor Bio: Shannon Weber is a self-taught multi-media fiber artist and educator since 1986, who currently lives and maintains a full time studio in Cottage Grove, Oregon. Her work is known both nationally and internationally for her obscure use of reclaimed and hand collected materials of construction and coastal debris, and Pacific sea kelps. She also excels in mixed media encaustic work, in both 2D & 3D formats, and uses mixed methods of fiber techniques in multiple layers. Her works are exhibited, awarded, published and held in both public and private collections that are strong sculptural narratives of living in the Pacific Northwest.       

Website: Shannon Weber