Cannon County, Tennessee is the home of the split-oak egg basket with the bow tie start. Create a seven-inch version of this basket and learn everything from preparing the materials (scraping and cutting weavers and preparing ribs) to weaving and shaping. All levels welcome, though basket weaving experience is helpful. Good hand strength is necessary, and some evening work may be required. Note: materials fee may exceed $100.
Sue Williams has studied with master white-oak basket makers, Gertie Youngblood and Mary Jane Prater, from Cannon County, TN. Sue has been an exhibitor and demonstrator for the annual White Oak Craft Fair in Cannon County for fifteen years, winning Best of Show numerous times. She has won a number of top awards for her baskets including the Tennessee Governor's Folklife Heritage Award. She began teaching over twenty years ago and shares her basket skills at such venues as the Arts Center of Cannon County, Univ. of Tennessee's Institute of Agriculture "Heritage Skills Seminars," the Alabama Folk School at Camp McDowell, and Monteagle Sunday School Assembly, as well as for small private classes.
Michelle Hennessee is a white oak basket maker from middle Tennessee. In 2017, she participated in the Tennessee Arts Commission Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, apprenticing under Master Basket Maker, Sue Williams. Michelle enjoys weaving with white oak and sharing the heritage of the Cannon County (TN) basket tradition with others. She is a member of Tennessee Basketry Association.
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