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Here are some of the baskets my family and I have collected from all over the United States and from as far away as Australia. These are great mementos of the places and people I have met. I have used these baskets as inspiration and as learning tools to help me perfect my own skills.


[Niehues Basket]

Contemporary White Oak Basket
8" x 6.75"
Leon Niehues

This basket is from Arkansas fiber artist Leon Niehues. It is woven of white oak, stitched with waxed linen and accented with coral berry bush runners and machine screws. I purchased this basket from Mr. Niehues at the 2012 St. Louis Art Fair. This is the second piece from Niehues I have in my collection (you can see the other basket below). Niehues' work has been exhibited across the county and featured in numerous publications. His work is also part of the permanent White House Craft Collection in Washington, D.C.

[Cynthia Taylor Basket]

Egg Basket with Side Handles, #98-18
15" x 13" x 6"
Cynthia Taylor

Like many baskets this one has had an interesting journey. Cynthia Taylor wove this incredible white oak ribbed basket in 1998, it was the 18th she had made that year (#98-18). The following year it was exhibited in the 1999 West Virginia Juried Exhibition and received a Merit Award. Not long after it was purchased by a collector from Boston, MA. Flash forward to April of 2006, while clicking around ebay I came across an estate sale auction. As soon as I saw the basket I knew it was one of Cynthia's. Fortunately I won the auction and it is one of my prize finds. And finally to complete the odd series of events surrounding this basket, a few months after receiving the basket Cynthia Taylor contacted me out of the blue to say she and Aaron Yakim were going to be in St. Louis visiting family and would I want to meet. Of course I said "yes" and took the basket with me, where to all of our surprise we pieced together the journey of this basket.

[Aaron Yakim Basket]

Kentucky Egg Basket
13" x 9"
Aaron Yakim

This basket is from West Virginia fiber artist Aaron Yakim. Aaron and his partner Cynthia Taylor work in white oak and give a new twist to traditional Appalachian basket forms. Aaron learned to make white oak baskets in the late 1970's from a fifth generation white oak basketmaker. He is credited with making over 2,000 baskets in the past 20 years. I have hardly made 200 in the past 20!

[Alice Ogden Baskets]

Alice Ogden Miniature Nesting Set
2" to 5" dia.
Alice Ogden

I purchased this incredible set of swing handled, brown ash, nesting baskets from Alice Ogden in 2000. Since then I have been collecting one of Alice's ornaments every Christmas. I was also fortunate enough in 2003 to take a class from Alice at her home in New Hampshire.

[Alice Odgen Nesting Basket Set]

[Bushwhacker Basket]

Bushwhacker Basket
14" x 13.5"

I have had this Bushwhacker or Taghkanic basket since I first started weaving, but it wasn't until the publication of Martha Wetherbee and Nathan Taylor's book "Legend of the Bushwhacker Basket" that I knew what it was. The Bushwhackers were native to a small area of New York state and their baskets were often confused with Shaker work. Their work is distinctive though and includes details not found in other baskets. An example of one of these is the notch in the swing handle shown in the detail photo.


[Niehues Basket]

Contemporary White Oak Basket
8" x 8.5"
Leon Niehues

This basket is from Arkansas fiber artist Leon Niehues. It is woven of white oak, accented with coral berry bush runners and stitched with waxed linen. I purchased this basket from Mr. Niehues at the 1998 St. Louis Art Fair. I had admired his work for many years and finally decided to take the plunge and get one of his pieces. Mr. Niehues' work has been exhibited across the county and featured in numerous publications. His work is also part of the permanent White House Craft Collection in Washington, D.C.

[Pineneedle Basket]

Coiled Pine Needle Baskets
9" & 8" x 11"

I received these basket as a Christmas presents from my aunt and uncle in 1997 and 1998. They are beautiful examples of traditional pine needle basketry. They were made by the mother (Katherine) of one of my aunt's co-workers. Katherine retired to Gulfport, FL in the mid-1980's were she learned her craft. She gathers the 12-15" long needles herself from a local cemetery. Most of her baskets feature the delicate filigree embroidery of raffia that makes these baskets so special. As with most traditional pine needle baskets they are finished with a sealer/varnish.

[Pine Needle Basket]

[Sweetgrass Basket]

Coiled Sweetgrass Basket
7" x 11.5"

My aunt and uncle also gave me this basket for Christmas 1998. When they visited S. Carolina so my aunt could run in a marathon. The information and tag that came with the basket indicates that the basket was "Handwoven by Celstin Turner and members of her family. Baskets are sold Monday through Saturday at the corner of Broad and Meeting Streets. Charleston, S.C." it is coiled of sweetgrass and pine needles with palmetto frond stitching.

Baskets by Gertie Youngblood
9" x 9.5" & 6.5" x 7"

I attended a weeklong workshop with Gertie and her brother-in-law Estel Youngblood in the summer of 1985. The class was held at the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville TN. During the week we went from tree to beautiful white oak basket. While I was very pleased with how my basket turned out, it was nothing in comparison to the exquisite work of Gertie Youngblood. I couldn't resist taking home the two baskets seen here. Gertie's work is the finest example of Appalachian basketry I have seen. A set of nine square ribbed baskets can be seen in the book "Appalachian White Oak Basketmaking, Handing Down the Basket" by Rachel Nash Law and Cynthia W. Taylor.

[Square Egg Basket]
[Egg Basket]

[Westfall Basket]

Westfall Basket
11.5" x 9"
Marjorie Westfall Prewitt

The Westfall family of central Missouri has been making their unique white oak ribbed baskets for over 100 years. My parents have over a dozen examples of their work, some dating back to the first generation of Westfall weavers. The basket displayed here I purchased from Marjorie Westfall Prewitt in 1984 at a craft festival in Bethal, MO. While the family produced varying sizes of round and flat-bottomed oval baskets, Marjorie is the only Westfall to make a square shaped basket. Her nephew, Ron continues the five generation legacy of the Westfall basket.

[Gizzard Basket]

Gizzard Basket
9" x 11"
Nelda J. Merritt

I received this white oak Appalachian basket as a birthday gift in 1985. My father picked it up at a flea market in Nashville TN from a basket broker he used to buy miniature nested baskets from. It is inscribed "Nelda J. Merritt River Road Short Mtn. Woodbury, Tenn. 37190". The rim and handle were originally decorated with navy blue dyed splints, which have since faded. Baskets shaped like this are often called, gizzard, butt or egg baskets.

[Aborigine Basket]

Aborigine Basket
9.5" x 11.5"

I found this basket in Alice Springs in the Outback of Australia. It is coiled of something similar to raffia, I am told possibly pandanus fiber. The tag indicates it was woven by Gumime Nunbribala of Arnhenland, which I believe is in the Northern part of the country. This was by far the most expertly crafted basket I saw for sale and actually the least expensive at $95.00 Australian dollars (about $75.00 US). Because of its superior quality I questioned its authenticity until later in the trip when I saw a similar basket at a flea market. Both baskets were coiled of the same materials and were the same orange and yellow ochre colors. When I asked the Aboriginal woman about the basket she told me her grandmother had made it and that it was not for sale. After that I felt assured of my purchase.

[Maori Basket]

Kete Whakairo (Maori Fancy Basket)
12" x 7"+handle

I collected this basket or "kete" while I was in New Zealand. It is woven of natural and dyed New Zealand flax (not the same type woven into linen) by a Maori woman from the town of Rotorua on the North Island. The Maori often dye their material in the thermal mud (paru) pots, which are numerous in the area, this produces a dark brown hue. I am not sure how the green color, used in this basket, was achieved. As with the Aboriginal basket this was the finest example of Maori basket weaving I encountered.

[Rarotonga Basket]

Rarotonga Basket with Captured Lid
4.5" x 5.5"+handle

This basket I purchase during a layover on the island of Rarotonga. This tiny volcanic island is part of the Cook Islands located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I found a number of baskets, hats and fans all woven of this amazingly white grass or palm for sale at a souvenir stand and couldn't resist bringing one back with me.

[Rarotonga Island]

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Page created April 25, 1998
Copyright, J. Anthony Stubblefield, 1997-2013