Elizabeth Waltermire-Jones

Elizabeth made her first woven pine needle basket in December of 2021. The first time the YouTube video popped up on her Facebook feed, she was enchanted with the idea of making something out of nothing. She works a full-time job but uses every spare moment in the collection of materials, research and design ideas, prep work and construction.

All of the pine needles are collected in the Azalea District and Historic Brick Streets of Tyler, Texas.

“This city has had a profound impact on my life and I love sharing my art with the people that I meet.”

The “new fall” or what she calls “fresh fall” is hand selected from fallen branches and found along the public sidewalks where she walks every day in the beautiful city that she loves so much. She has even been given permission to pick up needles in neighborhood yards. Some of the baskets are named for the streets in the city where she collected the needles.

“Since I am very new at basketry, I feel like I’ve only touched the surface of what I can do with the materials. So, every spare moment is spent exploring the materials and finding the boundaries of what will work and what won’t. Since I’m self-taught, there’s no one to tell me that something won’t work.”

She makes contemporary vessels that are typically functional with her own sense of style and rhythm. Many of the ideas have come to her in the middle of the night.

Elizabeth has been a maker and artist all of her life. She was first in the performance arts; singing, dancing and gymnastics. Later in life she has dabbled in different disciplines including sketching, crochet, digital graphics, oils and acrylics, wire jewelry and sculpture.

She leans more toward the contemporary side of basketry and is inspired by several basket makers. Some traditional and some contemporary. Janice Phillips from North Carolina is a prolific maker and has a wonderful sense of fun in her creations. Geraldine Zelinski from Louisiana who welcomed me into her wonderful group of friends. Pamela Jean Hermann from Wisconsin has an eye for detail in her contemporary pieces which helps her understand quality over quantity. Clay Burnette from South Carolina, who is a Master maker and weaver who reminds her that a basket doesn’t always have to be a vessel and can simply be what it is…a beautiful work of art.

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