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Natural Fibers Group

Naturals Teachers Registry

The purpose of this registry is to make it easier for individuals and groups to locate teachers of natural basketry, especially those who are willing to travel to teach. Entries are categorized alphabetically by natural weaving materials and cross-referenced by state.

If you are a naturals teacher, go here to register. You don't have to be a member of the Natural Fibers Group to be listed.

By Natural Materials

Bark, Pine and Tulip Poplar

Patricia Yunkes
4686 Forest Rd.
Cooksburg, Pa 16217

Naturals taught: Bark- Pine and Tulip Poplar. Gourds-From beginners to advanced; woodburning, dying, coiling on, tenerife designs, beading on (Shakaree's)Where: Home studio, NC Convention, Basket Guilds and other clubs. Travel: Anywhere Comments: Visit my website at to see the extent of my natural materials weavings.

Birch Bark

Cass Schorsch *
6375 N. Maplewood Dr.
Ludington, MI 49431

Naturals Taught: Birch Bark, Cedar Bark, & misc pine barks. Some classes include material preparation. Most baskets are Japanese influenced woven with barks. Where: Throughout the US at State Conferences, Guilds & Craft Schools Travel: Yes, I will travel. Most teaching takes me anywhere from 500-1000 miles.

* Cass Schorsch is a member of the Natural Fibers Group


Jessica Pitts
601 Shi Rd, Macon, GA 31220

Naturals taught: Broomcorn, Pine Needles - I teach open coiled baskets from these materials. Where: Almost anywhere Travel: Yes I will travel and depending upon my work schedule I will travel anywhere in Georgia and to places in South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida and Alabama and perhaps other places as well. Comments: I am a self taught basket maker and have been making pine needle and broom corn baskets for over 30 years. I have taught children as young as 6 and adults of all ages how to coil baskets. I believe this is a fine craft that needs to be passed on.

Buckbrush (Symphoricarpos orbiculatas)

Peggy Sanders Brennan- see listing under Honeysuckle


Caroll Loomis- see listing under Pine Needles

Cedar Bark

Kay Harradine *
23675 Fremali Lane
Mount Vernon, WA 98274

Naturals taught: NW coast materials, including gathering and preparing of cedar bark, roots, sedge, bear grass, etc. NW coast weaving techniques including plaiting, twining, full-turn & wrapped twining, false embroidery, etc. Where: Pacific NW
Travel: Yes. Will travel anywhere in US or abroad if expenses paid. Comments: While I use many materials, I specialize in working with plant fibers harvested responsibly from forest, wetlands and my garden. I have attended workshops with many local and nationally recognized master weavers and instructors. With degrees in Forestry and Education from the University of
Washington, I have both ethno-botanical knowledge and strong teaching skills

*Kay Harradine is a member of the Natural Fibers Group

Cass Schorsch- see listing under Birch Bark


Linda Conroy- see listing under Pine Needles

Dogwood (Red)

The Wicker Woman/Cathryn Peters- see listing under Willow


Rowena Philbeck
5377 Rye School Rd.
Bryan, Texas 77807

Naturals taught: Woven rim on gourds, Weaving with natural materials on gourds, gourd jewelry using natural materials. Growing, cleaning, Teach.from seed to finish art piece. Where : I have taught at schools, gourd shows, spinning/weaving guilds, and in my shop. Travel: I will travel anywhere as long as my expenses are paid for.
Comments: I have been working with gourds for about 13 years. My work has been published in several books, magazines, newsletters. I have taught in schools, shows, guild meetings and my home/shop. I use round reed, grasses, fibers, natural embellishments on gourds.


Peggy Sanders Brennan
PO Box 5404, Edmond, OK 73083-5404
(405) 615-3702

Naturals taught: Gathering, processing, dyeing and weaving with honeysuckle and buckbrush. These vines are gathered in the early spring by the Cherokee in Oklahoma for weaving wicker plaited double wall baskets. Vines must be boiled and scraped before taking a dye. This basket is unique and traditional to the Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, OK. I am a member of the Cherokee Nation and travel to demonstrate, speak, and teach all of the processes mentioned. I include Cherokee and SE Indian basketry culture and natural dye information. Class title is usually Cherokee Double Wall Basket Where: Artist in residence at major Indian museums; McDaniel College, MD; Jacobson Indian Center, Norman, OK; Creek Council House, Okemah, OK; Cherokee Heritage Center, Tahlequah, OK; Oklahoma Native American Basketweavers events and more. Travel: As far as wanted if the salary compensates for the airfare, meals and lodging. Comments: I founded the Oklahoma Native American Basketweavers Association. I teach primarily Indians; however, my goal is to teach as many as possible who want to learn Cherokee basketry. I teach SE Indian twills and pre archiac designs in barks.

Iris (Siberian)

Donna Kallner- see listing under Willow


Nancy Basket
1105 East Main Street
Walhalla, SC 29691
(864) 718-8864

Naturals taught: Kudzu, pine needles,grasses:cattails,bullrush,broom sedge,corn husk,seaweed, more. gathering, processing. Where: Everywhere Travel: Anywhere Comments: I helped start the first modern basketry guild in the US in 1981, am a SC artist in education since 1990 and teach how to make coiled masks and miniatures.


Nancy Boone Gildersleeve- see listing under Pine Needles

Pine Needles

Nancy Basket- see listing under Kudzu

Toni Best *
1815 E. Buena Vista Avenue
Visalia, CA 93292
(559) 627-5430

Naturals taught: I teach coiling of pine needles and other natural materials with various binders. Where: At my studio, The Caning Shop at Berkeley, Misti Washington Gourd and Basket Conference, Welburn Gourd Farm International Festival, California Gourd Society Semi-annual Conference at Asilomar, LA Gourd Fair Travel: I will travel if expenses are paid. Comments: I love baskets and basketry. I hope through my teaching to transfer this joy to my students.

*Toni Best is a member of the Natural Fibers Group.

Tammy Brown
3333 Mill Hill Road
East Bend, NC 27018

Naturals taught: NC Long leaf pine needle coiling on gourds. This may include emblishment rims for the gourds, twisted handles, open coiling around the gourd, and sometimes christmas ornaments using scrap gourd and pine needles. Where: Gourd shows or upon request Travel: Yes I will travel in NC or surrounding states if there is enough interest. Comments: I truly have a love of gourds and pine needle coiling. I always enjoy
meeting other people with the same love.

Linda Conroy
PO Box 166, Sheboygan, WI 53081
( 920) 457-9290

Naturals taught: Pine Needle Basketry and Cordage techniques with dogbane and cedar. Where: Sheboygan, Wisconsin and Seattle, WA Travel: Yes, it depends, if travel expenses are included could be anywhere. Comments: I love to work with natural materials and to expose others as well. I teach basic introductory Pine Needle Basket Weaving. Students can easily build on what they learn in my class to expand their skills. I often offer cordage making as part of the class and students have the option to weave their piece of cordage into their basket!!

Nancy Boone Gildersleeve *
3755 SW 3rd Place
Gainesville, FL 32607

Naturals taught: Coiled basketry using pine needles and grasses (Muhli grass) stitched with raffia, nylon sinew, waxed linen. processing naturals (yucca, wisteria, kudzu, honeysuckle, various barks). Cordage making with day lily leaves, corn husks or yucca. Palm and palmetto weaving, diagonal plaiting and braiding. Where: State Parks in Florida (Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center, Dudley Farm State Historic Site), University of Florida leisure course program, FL Museum of Natural History , John C Campbell Folk School Travel: I'd be glad to travel if class fees could cover expenses. Comments: I enjoy meeting people from other parts of the country. The Pine Needle Group has been a great inspiration and a way to contact other natural fiber workers. The gourd gathering in Cherokee NC last May was another as has been the John C Campbell Folk School.

*Nancy Boone Gildersleeve is a member of the Natural Fibers Group.

Marla Helton
3875 w. 250 n.
Greencastle, IN 46135

Naturals taught: My speciality is mixed media--usually weaving on gourds using pine needles, sweetgrass, sisal, reed or found material. Preparation of materials is covered in class.I offer approx. 25 different classes, many of which can be viewed on my web site. My classes often incorporate contemporary design with traditional materials and techniques. Where: I teach at conventions, retreat and workshops throughout the United States including Misti Washington in Encinitas CA and Stowe Basketry Festival in Vermont! Travel: I will travel wherever there is an interest in the classes I teach. Comments: Inspired by a love of basketry and mixed media I have chosen to share this enthusiasm with others by teaching. For more information about my classes, please visit my website at or take a look at the Nov. 2004 issue of BasketBits where I am featured on the cover.

Caroll Loomis
5336 Sam Creek RD.

Naturals taught: pineneedle, cattail, honeysuckle. I teach when to gather and processing. Where: My studio Travel: Yes If traveling expenses are paid.

Jessica Pitts- see listing under Broomcorn

C. Elizabeth Smathers
7186 S. 75th E. Ave Tulsa, OK 74133

Naturals taught: Pine Needle basketry Where: Tulsa, John C. Campbell Folk School Travel: Anywhere if I'm compensated for it.


Kay Harradine- See listing under Cedar Bark


Marla Helton- See listing under Pine Needles


Donna Kallner
N3894 State Highway 55
White Lake, WI 54491-9716
Phone: (715) 882-2822

Naturals taught: Willow, Siberian iris, daylily, basswood bark, and gourd vessels. Coiling with the Basketmaker's Buttonhole stitch. Looping techniques including American Shigras and Beyond Knotless Netting. How to grow, gather and process natural materials available in the Great Lakes States. Where: Fiber arts schools, guilds, conferences, retreats, museums, home studio Travel: United States Comments: The basketmaker's buttonhole stitch is a little-known open-core coiling technique that gives great tension control and is particularly well suited to sculptural work. The looping techniques I teach include many variations on the basic technique known as knotless netting.

The Wicker Woman/Cathryn Peters
1250 Hwy 25
Angora, MN 55703

Naturals taught: Baskets using: antlers, willow, diamond willow,red dogwood, sweetgrass, cattails, bulrush, rawhide, black ash and birch bark. Rustic furniture and stools using: rawhide, cattails, bulrush, hickory bark, ash, and oak. Where: Nationwide at basket guilds, basket shops, workshops, conventions, art schools and folk schools. Travel: USA and Canada Comments:
Since I usually drive to the class locations, and live in northern Minnesota, the weather always needs to be taken into consideration. Frequently unavailable from December to March, but check with me.

By State

CA- Toni Best (see Pine Needles)

FL- Nancy Boone Gildersleeve (see Pine Needles including multiple materials, Palm/Palmetto)

GA- Jessica Pitts (see Broomcorn, Pine Needles)

IN- Marla Helton (see Pine Needles, Sweetgrass)

MI- Cass Schorsch (see Birch Bark including multiple materials, Cedar)

MN- The Wicker Woman/Cathryn Peters (see Willow including multiple materials, Dogwood)

NC- Tammy Brown (see Pine Needles)

OK- Peggy Sanders Brennan (see Honeysuckle, Buckbrush)

......C. Elizabeth Smathers (see Pine Needles)

OR- Caroll Loomis (see Pine Needles including multiple materials, Cattail)

PA- Patricia Yunkes (see Bark)

SC- Nancy Basket (see Kudzu including multiple materials, Pine Needles)

TX- Rowena Philbeck (see Grasses)

WA- Kay Harradine (see Cedar Bark including multiple materials, Roots)

WI- Linda Conroy (see Pine Needles including multiple materials, Dogbane)

......Donna Kallner (see Willow including multiple materials, Iris Siberian)

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