Nancy Basket

Paper Making & Kudzu Basketry

Pine needles, kudzu, cattails, and horsehair are all materials that Nancy Basket has woven into her baskets. Nancy adapts basketry to materials provided by her surrounding landscape. South Carolina’s landscape so inspired Nancy that she moved to the state after living in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest. Nancy settled in the Blue Ridge area of the state where she rediscovered her Cherokee roots, a heritage that drives much of her recent work. She also discovered an abundant new basket making material--Kudzu--known to some as the "vine that ate the south."

Type
Spotlight - Nancy Basket | A Natural State
Spotlight - Nancy Basket | A Natural State

Video

Organic materials such as pine needles are considered "free for the taking" and have qualities that can not be reproduced by humans. But collecting natural materials comes at a price for the...
Coiled Kudzu Basket - Step 1  | A Natural State
Coiled Kudzu Basket - Step 1 | A Natural State

Video

Nancy begins a coiled basket with a handful of kudzu shreds, (see Kudzu, Video 5). Raffia, a fibrous thread like material, is wrapped around the kudzu shreds, starting the coil. The base of the basket...
Coiled Kudzu Basket - Step 2 | A Natural State
Coiled Kudzu Basket - Step 2 | A Natural State

Video

Organic raffia and the kudzu shreds come in varying lengths. After three or four wraps of the coiled basket, one usually runs out of kudzu and/or raffia. In this step Nancy shows how to add new pieces...
Coiled Kudzu Basket - Step 3 | A Natural State
Coiled Kudzu Basket - Step 3 | A Natural State

Video

The coiled basket takes shape as Nancy builds up its sides. In this video, Nancy shows how one controls the overall shape and size of the basket as successive rows of the coil are built up.
Coiled Kudzu Basket - Step 4 | A Natural State
Coiled Kudzu Basket - Step 4 | A Natural State

Video

Like snowflakes, no two coiled kudzu baskets are alike. The basket is complete when the maker is pleased with its size and shape. In this optional step, Nancy shows how to add a handle to a finished...
Uktena Legend | A Natural State
Uktena Legend | A Natural State

Video

Folklore is often the inspiration for Nancy's weavings and paper collages. Stories of "Uktena, the Great Snake" have been passed down through numberless generations of Cherokee people. Using a basket...
Sandhills State Park | A Natural State
Sandhills State Park | A Natural State

Video

Nancy travels from her home in the Upstate to Sandhills State Park in Patrick to collect needles for her baskets. Dried needles are plentiful due to controlled burning of the park's long leaf pine...
Collecting Kudzu | A Natural State
Collecting Kudzu | A Natural State

Video

An old saying goes, "If you’re going to plant kudzu, drop it and run." The vine grows up to a foot a day during summer months and chokes the southeastern landscape with a dense, green mat of foliage...
Kudzu House | A Natural State
Kudzu House | A Natural State

Video

Kudzu's aggressive growth and status as an unwanted plant creates an abundance of materials for resourceful artists and crafters. Nancy uses the vine in baskets, paper, jams, jellies, teas, and most...
Pulp Paper Process - Step 1 | A Natural State
Pulp Paper Process - Step 1 | A Natural State

Video

Nancy Basket processes Kudzu fibers to make pulp paper for her distinctive art. Please note that Nancy is a trained professional, who uses equipment or procedures that would not be considered safe...