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Natural Fibers Group

Gathers & Weaves

Meetings are generally held once a month; on the first Monday or Thursday (alternating) at 6:00 pm, or as otherwise scheduled. Our Monday meeting is held at the Blind Center, 3rd and Harvey Sts, Thursday we meet at the Arts Council, 2nd and Gladden Sts, Washington, North Carolina. When we are gathering and/or processing naturals as a group, some get-togethers will be during the day and possibly on weekends. Because of our unique focus, and the fact that nature waits for no one, get-togethers can sometimes be fairly spur-of-the-moment. Current meeting/event info can always be found on the homepage of this website.

A few of our past activities


Feb 10 White Oak Basket Class: Registration Closed. 1-5pm, Washington, NC. Billy Owen, 2nd generation Ozark basketmaker, will teach a small white oak market basket. Registration is $70 and will be first come, first served. If interested, contact the NFG. Attendees must be current on dues. "It is 8 ½” wide and 15” wide at the bottom and flares up at the top and is approx. 9” deep excluding the solid oak handle. I will teach how to weave a herringbone bottom and the Owens’ method of doing the lashing. I will also share all things concerning White Oak from how to select the best tree to how I strip and prepare the material."

February 23rd: Hibiscus Bark Gather! 11:00 - 4:00 Come and gather hibiscus bark at Lynn's. Learn all about this excellent fiber first-hand. We'll be bleaching, dying and making cordage too! Bring a covered dish for a potluck lunch. Our hibiscus harvest will be one of the fibers used for our next project at the March meeting.Don't miss this fun day!

April 20- Earth Day at Eastern Elementary
April 28- Bullrush Workshop with Peggie Wilcox
Twine a beautiful pouch using bulrush and maidenhair fern.
May, June, July
NFG Art Exhibit at the Civic Center, sponsored by Beaufort County ArtsCouncil; also exhibit at the
Brown Library, Washington, NC

June 16: Weavin' by the Pool- Our summer pool party and cookout
Summer project:
creating Gourd dolls for two displays at the NC Gourd Festival- we received a first, a second and the chairperson's award.
September 22: Twill Tray Workshop with Judy Wobbleton-
Judy led us in making fabulous lap trays to hold our work or other things.
Oct 27: W
oven Treasure Pouch Workshop: Held in conjunction with the Beaufort County Fine Arts Show, this workshop was open to the public for the nominal fee of $5

Cedar Overlay Workshop with Polly Adams Sutton - November 6, 2007

Registration Now Closed

(Click above for brochure)



October 26, 27 & 28, 2006 Open Pine Needle Basket Workshop ! Civic Center. Washington, NC Read Press Release

Aug- 26, 2006, Basketry Exhibit Trip to Rocky Mt Imperial Art Center We are planning a trip to the Rocky Mount Art Center to see two basketry exhibits: Billie Ruth Sudduth's work and work by the Tar River Basketmakers Guild. The trip will take place on Saturday, August 26th, 9:00am at the Food Lion on 264 in Washington, on the shopping center across from the Hampton Inn (intersection 264 & 15th St.) After we're finished at the Art Center, we'll go out to lunch in Rocky Mount and then head back.

Aug 5, 2006, Special Tulip Poplar Gathering with Sam Taylor- Members who have registered will meet on Saturday, August 5th, 9:00am at Lowes parking lot, Washington, NC. We'll go to Sam Taylor's nearby property- the woods, and learn to gather bark from the tulip poplar. Wear protective clothing. Bring: leather work gloves, insect repellent, sunscreen, toilet paper, pocket knife or utility knife, heavy duty scissors, rubber bands or twine, folding chair or stool, tarp or plastic for ground sitting, a bag lunch and water. Sam does chair caning and makes rustic furniture from materials he gathers.

Monday, Aug. 7 Meeting- Plaited Necklace Pouches. Those who have collected tulip poplar bark (the previous Saturday) can prepare some and bring it to the meeting to use. You will be told how to prepare it for use at the bark gathering. Those who don't have bark or would just like to practice making the pouch before using their bark another time can bring flat cardboard. Cereal boxes, mac & cheese, or similar food boxes work well, as do tissue boxes with attractive designs.

June, 2006- The Natural Fibers Group was granted 501c3 status by the IRS.

Russian Birchbark Basketry Workshop
Vladimir Yarish
May 20-21, 2006
Brochure Printable Registration Form

April 28, Earth Day Childrens Projects The Natural Fibers Group did programs consisting of talks with hands-on projects at Eastern Elementary, Washington, NC. Several hundred children were introduced to basketry and gourd work.

April 22nd, Palmetto and Yucca Gathering Expedition. We had a ball and learned from gathering and processing these materials for later projects!


December, 2005- Sweetgrass Workshop with Barbara McCormick
The Natural Fibers Group Workshop: Sweetgrass Basketry in the Low Country Tradition with Barbara McCormick is our second public workshop. We will learn to weave using authentic materials of sweetgrass & palmetto. Our instructor, Barbara McCormick, was born in Charleston, SC and raised in Mt. Pleasant, where she learned the trade of sweetgrass basket weaving from her grandmother, mother, aunts, and other family members at a very early age. The workshop will be held in January 2006 at Beaufort County Community College in Washington, NC.

10-3-05-- Pitt County Fair Display NFG display booth wins first place (Civic and Community Groups) at the Pitt County Fair, Greenville , NC! This is our second year participating and our second first place win! Special thanks goes to the set-up crew: Stephen Jones, Gloria Jones, Cassandra Jones, Pamela Zimmerman , and Lynn Hoyt .

Late Sept, 2005-- Grass Roots Grant Awarded to Natural Fibers Group by the NC Art Council and the National Endowment for the Arts! This matching grant will enable us to hold another basketry workshop! Check back later for more details.

Sept 10 and 11, 2005 64th NC Gourd Festival This year's theme is "Bountiful Baskets." NFG members will be teaching and selling this year. Marie Kube will be teaching classes at the festival this year, offering Painted Santa and Painted Birdhouse workshops. Dean Lee will be selling her beautiful long leaf pine needles (natural brown, green, dyed, and fumed)Everyone is encouraged to attend this fun event, enter the competition, and take classes.

Spring, 2005-- The 2005-2006 Grassroots Grant was applied for through the Beaufort County Arts Council. Receiving the grant will help us fund another NFG workshop. Look for more news in October 2005.


2004 First Meeting and Project: On May 10, 2004 we had our first meeting. We had a Hibiscus fiber Workshop, where we learned to process and make cordage from fiber that had been collected earlier that week. We all had fun and will use the cordage in a later project.

Windfall of Yucca Fiber: In late May 2004 we started processing some large recovered yuccas. They can be used for coiling or twining. It will take some time to process it all. At nearly $20 for 2 ounces, when you can find it, it pays to process it yourself. Pictured to the right is Treasurer, Pamela Zimmerman with one of her yuccas.

Projects from Other Meetings:
random weave garden baskets using collected twigs and vines, gourd preparation, coiling pine needles on gourds, cd baskets, starting a basket from "nothing"-round wrapped starts...

August 9th Special Weave with Toni Best:

Toni is a member who visited us from California. She has taught coiling and gourd work for years and is a coordinator of the Tulare-Sequoia Patch of the California Gourd Society. Toni was one of the artists who was selected to work on the famous Traveling Gourd. We thought it was fitting to have a special meeting while she was here, and Toni (pictured at left) was nice enough to teach us all a unique raffia and pine needle basket start! Thanks Toni!

August 24th Bundle those Pine Needles !

Come learn the finer points of bundling beautiful long leaf pine needles (bring rubber bands) and watch a fabulous and rare basketry video! Bring the work that you would like exhibited in the Brown Library case for September.

September 11 & 12: Group Daytrips to the NC Gourd Festival!








October 29th 2004, Kudzu Workshop with Cherokee Basketmaker, Nancy Basket, Our First Public Workshop:

What a hoot! Nancy woke us up and whipped us into shape using humor. In her own special style, Nancy gave us lots of information about kudzu uses and how to gather. We then prepared the vine and she taught us her techniques for making random weave and coiled baskets. Got Kudzu? Thanks to all who attended!

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