April 27 thru 29 2018 in Visalia, California

Baskets and Gourds: Containers of Our Culture

Seventh Biennial Conference

Baskets and Gourds 2018

We have 23 fantastic classes where you will learn to make an artistic basket or gourd in a day! Beginners welcome.

Conference Starts in:

Join Us! Sign up now!

Classes are $65 plus materials & preparation fee.

Elks Lodge, Mill Creek Conference Center, Visalia CA

Opening Reception April 27 – Arts Visalia Classes April 28 & 29, 2018

Sponsored by Tulare‐Sequoia Gourd Patch and the California Gourd Society

Area information

Welcome to Visalia, Tulare County, and nearby Sequoia National Park!

We’re so glad you’re coming to the Central Valley ‐ we have a wonderful conference planned, and as you schedule your trip, we hope that you’ll consider extending your stay to enjoy the many opportunities our beautiful area has to offer. First, Visalia is aptly named “The Jewel of the Valley.” It’s a unique city with small town charm, parks, rivers, lakes, and great restaurants. You might catch a Rawhide baseball game, play some golf, walk the trails, ride the trolley, or try your luck in a nearby casino. Perhaps you feel more adventurous and want to go white‐water rafting on your way up to Sequoia National Park. Once in the park, hike up Moro Rock, and stroll amongst the giant sequoias. Plan on spending a few days camping with your family or stay in Three Rivers at the Lazy J Motel. If you plan carefully, your visit to the area could also include the Three Rivers JazzAffair, the California Antique Farm Equipment Show, or Team Roping at a local rodeo. So, consider combining your creative energy at our Baskets and Gourds Conference with a family vacation and experience the varied activities in the Central Valley.

Classes are still available! Join us in Visalia, April 27th thru 29th for classes and much more!

Conference Schedule

Full schedule of Saturday and Sunday classes

9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#101 Saturday – Certified Zentangle Instructor

Instructor: Judy Burkett – Flintville, TN Gourd bowl with pine needle rim and base. The bowl is half of a cannonball gourd which we will tangle inside and out with a black Identi pen. After our tangling is finished, we will add a pine needle rim and attach a pine needle base. Dimensions of the project: 3.5” x 6” Materials & preparation fee: $25 All Levels Tools needed: None
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMOutdoors

#102 Saturday – Carved Grape Bowl

Instructor: Gloria Crane – Hesperia, CA Learn how to create this fabulous bowl using your rotary carver and just a few burrs that you probably already have in your toolbox. In this class, you will apply the pattern onto a precut and cleaned gourd, carve the grapes and leaves to make them stand out, and learn how to create the speckled texture around the rim. The gourd will be finished using dyes. Class will be held outside. Dimensions of the project: 7” x 4” Materials & preparation fee: $40 All Levels Tools needed: Rotary carver with flexible shaft (please, no cordless carvers), ball burrs #106, #107, and #191, an inverted cone and cone burr, a good quality dust mask or respirator, and a heat tool
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#103 Saturday – Small Shaker Wood Chip Basket – Intermediate

Instructor: JoAnn Kelly Catsos – Ashley Falls, MA This ¼ scale version of a Shaker utility basket is made like the original – chase‐woven of finely prepared black ash splint over a wooden mold, with lengthwise handle, hardwood rims, and cherry runners lashed to the bottom. Dimensions of the project: 4” x 2.5” x 3.5” Materials & preparation fee: $65     Intermediate Tools needed: Small, narrow packing tool, sharp scissors, small diagonal cutters, 1 cup water container, 12 alligator clips, pencil
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMOutdoors

#104 Saturday – Carved Turtle with Pottery Shards

Instructor: Kristy Dial – Minden, NV Carve a classic design and learn how to inlay authentic pottery shards and a cabochon. We will be wood burning, carving, and perfecting the art of inlay. The gourd will be finished with a rim of Torrey Pine needles. The skills you will learn or master in this class can be used on any gourd project. It will be a fun day of carving a great piece of art! Class will be held outside. Dimensions of the project: 9” x 7” Materials & preparation fee: $40 All Levels Tools needed: A good quality dust mask, mini jig saw, wood burner, an awl, power carving tool (Dremel, Master Carver, etc.), and any burrs you may have. I will have burrs available to purchase.
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#105 Saturday – Garden Basket

Instructor: Cookie Hanson – Seal Beach, CA The basket is twined using garden materials. Twining with many garden materials (such as Dracaena draco, King Palm, seed stalks, etc.), a unique basket both in shape and texture is achieved. Dimensions of the project: 8” x 8” x 8” x 10” Materials & preparation fee: $40 All Levels Tools needed: Scissors and a towel
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#106 Saturday – Woven Connections

Instructor: Mary Hettmansperger – Peru, IN Using copper sheeting and a variety of fiber stitching and weaving techniques, students will create unique jewelry. Patinas, wire techniques, and design approaches for a wide range of jewelry will be included, as well as earrings, broaches, and necklaces. Cold connections, low‐tech metal techniques, and endless embellishing techniques will also be given. Dimensions of the project: varies Materials & preparation fee: $48 All Levels Tools needed: Metal shears, bench block, bent nose pliers, needle nose pliers, wire cutters, hammer (ball peen hammer is great)
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#107 Saturday – Antler Basket

Instructor: Bonnie Kennedy – Reno, NV Learn how to drill and insert spokes into an antler. The basket is a ribbed basket, and the shape and dimensions of the basket are dependent on how the rib holes are drilled. The antlers will be sheds, so they are legal in the state of California. Dimensions of the project: varies Materials & preparation fee: $65 All Levels Tools needed: Regular basketry tools, a soaking bucket, wood glue, and a drill
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#108 Saturday – Star Weave Pouch or Basket

Instructor: Margaret Mathewson – Alsea, OR This is open hexagonal plaiting in two shapes. You may do one or both as time allows. Advanced students may try the round one in upright or bias plaiting for variation. Cross threading decorative strands will also be shown. Materials include flat reed, bark strips, and/or split willow or redbud shoots for color effects. Dimensions of the project: varies Materials & preparation fee: $45 All Levels Tools needed: Clippers or strong scissors, towel, twisty ties, clips or small clamps
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#109 Saturday – Gingko Leaf

Instructor: Marilyn Moore – Iowa City, IA Using Marilyn’s unique method of color blending using copper wire for spokes, explore the use of fine colored wires as a twining material. Your Gingko leaf will glow when the light hits it. If desired, twine in a pin which will turn your leaf into a brooch. Dimensions of the project: 3.5” x 3” Materials & preparation fee: $85 All Levels Tools needed: Small wire cutters, chain nose pliers, embroidery needles sizes 1‐5, nylon jaw wire straighteners, personal light, and extension cord
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#110 Saturday – Pine Needle Cuff Bracelet

Instructor: Vicky Nickelson – Kent, WA A unique cuff bracelet coiled with pine needles and embellished with beads. We will utilize a wire form and wrap it with artificial sinew, using the double button hole stitch. We will coil pine needles around the form using the wheat and fern stitch. The beads will be added using the fagoting stitch. Dimensions of the project: 7” x 1.5” Materials & preparation fee: $30 All Levels Tools needed: Scissors and a flexible tape measure
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#111 Saturday – Sweet Split Cedar

Instructor: Polly Adams Sutton – Seattle, WA Using the natural thickness of western red cedar bark, this basket will begin with a twill base. The spokes will be split and then twined with mellowed northwest sweetgrass, creating patterns with the inner and outer walls of cedar. Two folded borders finish the piece. Dimensions of the project: 5” x 2.5” x 2.5” Materials & preparation fee: $85       All Levels Tools needed: Packing tool, basket shears, tapestry needle, squirt bottle, small old towel
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#113 Saturday – Cedar Water Bottle or Vase Cover

Instructor: Jennifer Wool– Mount Hamilton, CA Working with cedar, learn several different weaves: straight, diamond, arrow. Finish with a flip and fold rim. Dimensions of the project: 3” x 7” Materials & preparation fee: $45    All Levels Tools needed: Basic basketry tools and water spray bottle
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#201 Sunday – Over the Shoulder

Instructor: Toni Best – Visalia, CA Utilizing pine needles coiled on a gourd, students will create a base of three coils. The wavy floating coils go in and out two holes cut in the gourd to create "clothes" on the body of the gourd with a "scarf" going over the shoulder. Dimensions of the project: 6” x 6” x 6” x 13” Materials & preparation fee: $45     All Levels Tools needed: Apron
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#202 Sunday – Certified Zentangle Instructor

Instructor: Judy Burkett – Flintville, TN Gourd bowl with pine needle rim and base. The bowl is half of a cannonball gourd which we will tangle inside and out with a black Identi pen. After our tangling is finished, we will add a pine needle rim and attach a pine needle base. Dimensions of the project: 3.5” x 6” Materials & preparation fee: $25    All Levels Tools needed: None
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#203 Sunday –Berkshire Backpack – Intermediate

Instructor: JoAnn Kelly Catsos – Ashley Falls, MA This little pack of black ash splint has all the features of a full size back pack – lashed rims, leather harness, and skeds on the bottom. It is chase‐woven over a puzzle mold that is later taken apart to be removed. Perfect for business cards. Dimensions of the project: 2.75” x 2.5” x 4” Materials & preparation fee: $65      Intermediate Tools needed: Small, narrow packing tool, sharp scissors, small diagonal cutters, 1 cup water container, 12 alligator clips, pencil
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMOutdoors

# 204 Sunday – Peacock on Manzanita

Instructor: Gloria Crane – Hesperia, CA To create this beautiful peacock perched on a manzanita branch, you will incorporate wood burning, carving, metallic inks, regular ink dye, and pigment powders. The unique rim cut is embellished with variegated gold leaf. After this fun class, you will no longer be intimidated by, or have problems with, gold leaf application. Class will be held outside. Dimensions of the project: 5” x 10” Materials & preparation fee: $45    All Levels Tools needed: Adjustable wood‐burner and your favorite pens for burning tight, curved lines, a power carver with flexible shaft (please no cordless carvers), #107 ball burr, your favorite burr for removing gourd skin, a heat tool, a good quality dust mask or respirator, small paint brushes, soft mop brush, and an X‐acto knife with sharp blade
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMOutdoors

#205 Sunday – Hammered Copper Shards

Instructor: Kristy Dial – Minden, NV Create striking copper shards that will certainly add the “Wow‐factor” to your gourds. Learn to anneal, emboss, hammer, and heat the copper and copper mesh for a beautiful rainbow of colors. You will hang your beautiful shards with suede lace. Use the exciting TransTint dyes. You will leave with a finished gourd. Class will be held outside. Instructor: Kristy Dial – Minden, NV Create striking copper shards that will certainly add the “Wow‐factor” to your gourds. Learn to anneal, emboss, hammer, and heat the copper and copper mesh for a beautiful rainbow of colors. You will hang your beautiful shards with suede lace. Use the exciting TransTint dyes. You will leave with a finished gourd. Class will be held outside. Dimensions of the project: 8” x 6” Materials & preparation fee: $35     All Levels Tools needed: Wood burner and mini jigsaw
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#206 Sunday – Rib Play

Instructor: Mary Hettmansperger – Peru, IN Students will learn to make a small rib construction basket using her unique approach. Mary will guide students through a small woven leaf shape basket/sculpture. Using twigs, branches, round reed, and willow for the frame and cane for weavers, students will learn a variety of tricks to make this form of basketry fun, spontaneous, impressive, and easy. Dimensions of the project: 12” x 4‐6” Materials & preparation fee: $48     All Levels Tools needed: Scissors
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#208 Sunday – Exploring Random Weave

Instructor: Margaret Mathewson – Alesa, OR Explore random weave in many natural materials including willow, dogwood, wisteria, ivy, clematis, grape, cedar root, “beach” roots, and decorative ferns, grasses, and barks. Make a pouch, jar, purse, sphere, dish…. or ‘art.’ You may leave the body of the basket unadorned or add a ‘clasping’ medallion with a random center. (Students may not finish the medallion in a single day). Dimensions of the project: Varies Materials & preparation fee: $45      All Levels Tools needed: Clippers or strong scissors, towel, and twisty ties
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#207 Sunday – Pine Needle

Instructor: Bonnie Kennedy – Reno, NV Learn how to start a pine needle basket from a pre‐drilled start. Also learn how to chase weave pine needles. Dimensions of the project: Various Materials & preparation fee: $60   All Levels Tools needed: Scissors and thimble if desired
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#209 Sunday – Beaded Dragonfly Wall Hanging OR Beading on a Gourd

Instructor: Sam McKinney – Lindsay, CA Students will be able to choose one of two projects: Beading on a Gourd – Students will learn the art of bead work by using # 11 seed beads to create multiple reverse scallops around a gourd. The gourds are prepped and ready to bead. Beaded Dragonfly Wall Hanging – Using # 11 seed beads, students will make two unique dragonflies. The technique of spiraling will be used to make a 3‐D look to the body. Dimensions of the project: Dragonfly: 8.5” x 6.5”; Beaded Gourd: 3” x 4.5” Materials & preparation fee: Beaded Gourd: $40; Dragonfly: $45    All Levels Tools needed: Hemostats for the bowl
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#210 Sunday – Basket Beauties

Instructor: Marilyn Moore – Iowa City, IA Learn to twine and make miniature baskets to create these little “Beauties.” Shaping and blending colors with fine colored wires is the focus of this class. Attach your favorite beads to dangle beneath the discs and make a very wearable pair of earrings, with a pendant to match. Dimensions of the project: Pendant: 1.5” Earrings: 1” Materials & preparation fee: $75 All Levels Tools needed: Small wire cutters, chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, small straight Weave Rite packing tool, embroidery needles sizes 1‐5, nylon jaw wire straighteners, and personal light
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#211 Sunday – Pine Needle Pendant

Instructor: Vicky Nickelson – Kent, WA A spectacular pine needle pendant! We will utilize a plastic ring and cover it with varying threads using the double buttonhole stitch. Pine needles are coiled around the ring using the wheat and fern stitch. Then the fun part: embellishing with beads! Dimensions of the project: 2” x 2” Materials & preparation fee: $30 All Levels  Tools needed: None
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#212 Sunday – Chasing Beargrass – All Levels

Instructor: Polly Adams Sutton – Seattle, WA Chase twine northwest sweetgrass over prepared cedar bark while simultaneously weaving beargrass. Class participants will learn to prepare beargrass. The finish is a saw tooth folded border. Dimensions of the project: 3.75” x 3.5” x 2.75” Materials & preparation fee: $78 All Levels Tools needed: Packing tool, basketry shears, tapestry needle, squirt bottle, small old towel
9:00 AM - 4:00 PMIndoors

#214 Sunday – Cedar Woven Purse – Intermediate

Instructor: Jennifer Wool – Mount Hamilton, CA Students will be weaving, doing the arrow weave and a flip and fold rim. Finally, they will attach a leather flap and strap for the finished product. Dimensions of the project: 2” x 5” x 5” Materials & preparation fee: $45 Intermediate Tools needed: Basketry shears, spray water bottle
6 pm to 8:30 pm Saturday

Buffet Dinner and Keynote Speaker, Saturday at 6 pm

The dinner will be held at the Elks Lodge beginning at 6 pm and ending at 8:30 pm. You must sign up for the dinner on the registration form. Payment is due March 31, 2018. Please contact Toni Best for more information. 559-627-5430
8 am to 6:30 pm Saturday

Silent Auction, Saturday

The silent auction opens Saturday morning at 8 am. It ends Saturday evening at 6:30 pm. Results will be announced at the dinner.
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm FridayArts Visalia, 214 E. Oak Avenue

Reception for Teachers’ Art Exhibit, Friday at 6 pm

This reception will be held Friday evening from 6 pm to 8 pm at Arts Visalia. The address is 214 E. Oak Ave, Visalia. Exit Court St off Hwy 198. Contact phone is 559-739-0905.

Meet Our Instructors

We are very fortunate to have these well-known professional artists from across the country teaching for us this year.

  • Polly Adams Sutton

    Polly Adams Sutton

    Polly is a full time studio artist, working with cedar bark to create sculptural baskets. Her educational background is art with an emphasis on painting and printmaking. Upon settling in the Pacific Northwest more than 35 years ago, she was introduced to basketry through the Seattle Weaver’s Guild. It has been her preferred art form ever since. She harvests cedar bark each spring in logging areas near Seattle, WA. Her sculptural work is primarily twined, although she experiments with wire as a woven element in her asymmetrical shapes. She exhibits her work in galleries nationwide. Sutton was awarded an Artist Project Grant in 2012 through the City of Seattle to experiment with invasive vines in her work and received an Artist Trust GAP Grant in 2012. This was used in conjunction with the Seattle Weavers Guild Grant for investigating the basketry of Sardinia. Her work was chosen for the cover illustration of 500 Baskets.

  • Mary Hettmansperger

    Mary Hettmansperger

    Mary is the owner of Gallery 64. For 30 years, she has taught internationally and across the US: at Arrowmont, Penland, Bead and Button, Convergence, national and regional fiber conferences, art and craft schools, and private guilds. Mary has authored and illustrated four books: Fabulous Woven Jewelry, Wrap, Stitch, Dold and Rivet, Mixed Metal Jewelry Workshop, and Heat, Color, Set and Fire. Mary has had work exhibited at private galleries, SOFA, and invitational exhibits. She does segments for PBS programming, on‐line workshops, and YouTube segments, and has had her work published in many magazines.

  • Judy Burkett

    Judy Burkett

    Judy is an award‐winning gourd artist and Certified Zentangle Teacher. Judy is a gourd enthusiast and has been an artist her entire life. Her art has been featured in magazines and published in the book, “The Beauty of Zentangle.” Gourds have become her favorite medium for expressing her unique artistic visions. She is known by her Zentangle peers as “The Gourd Lady,” and as “The Zentangle Lady” by her fellow gourd artists. Her kids and grandchildren loving refer to her as “The Gourd Hoarder.” She is a member of the Huntsville, Alabama Gourd Patch; the Alabama Gourd Society; the Texas Gourd Society and the National Gourd Society. Judy currently residences in Tennessee with her husband of thirty‐nine years, Jim, who is also an award‐winning gourd artist.

  • Marilyn Moore

    Marilyn Moore

    Marilyn’s first loves are basketry, and basketry‐related jewelry. Since 1979, she has taught for guilds, conferences, and conventions around the country, has written numerous articles, and has been featured in many publications. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BFA in Fiber Art in 1997. She moved from Seattle in 2015 to Iowa City, IA.

  • Sam McKinney

    Sam McKinney

    Sam has been creating gourd art since 1998. Not having formal art training, she has studied with the best in the gourd world: Toni Best, Cookie Hanson, and Bonnie Gibson, just to name a few. She has shown her art in Tubac and Tucson, Arizona, and all over California including Springville, Folsom, Fallbrook, Visalia, and Exeter. She is a member of the California Gourd Society and the Kaweah Artisans. She has also taught a master class on coiling at Fresno State, and, along with teachers from across the United States, taught beading classes at the Baskets and Gourds Containers of Our Culture Conference, Misti Washington Weekend in the Gardens in Encinitas, and at her studio. Originally from Missouri, Sam came to California in 1967, where she met and married her husband, Bob, and, moved to Lindsay, California in 1981 with their two sons.

  • Toni Best

    Toni Best

    Toni Best has been a creator and advocate of basketry for over 50 years. Specializing in pine needle baskets and pine needles coiled on gourds, Toni has been creating pieces which stretch the imagination and are ``outside`` the box. She was juried into the NBO All Things Considered VI, and invited to teach at Arrowmont's School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN, and Pocosins's School of Fine Crafts in Columbia, NC. Toni teaches in her studio in Visalia, and around the state as well as in Washington and Nevada.

  • Jennifer Wool

    Jennifer Wool

    Jennifer has had a love for creating three‐dimensional artwork for over 30 years. She started working in clay, and then moved to making baskets and gourds. Jennifer has taught basket and gourd workshops in her home studio, community adult and elementary schools, and the Misti Washington Gourd and Basket Guild conference. Jennifer is thrilled to have one of her pieces included in Gourds and Fiber, by Ginger Summit and Jim Widess.

  • Cookie Hanson

    Cookie Hanson

    Cookie Hanson is a well known California fiber artist who has been exploring basketry techniques since the 1970's. Primarily engaged in basket making, Cookie also explores the intersection of gourds and fiber, as well as free form sculpture using both traditional and natural materials. She is an active member of the Bay Area Basket Makers, Los Angeles Basketry Guild, Misty Washington Basket and Gourd Guild (San Diego), and the California Gourd Society.

  • Kristy Dial

    Kristy Dial

    Kristy is a professional gourd artist and teacher with 20 years of experience. Her award‐winning gourds have been shown in galleries throughout the western United States. Kristy is 1st vice president of the American Gourd Society and is honored to share her knowledge and her love of gourds by teaching classes throughout the year.

  • Vicky Nickelson

    Vicky Nickelson

    Pine needle baskets are Vicky’s passion. She has organized, participated, and taught in various basket demonstrations. Her baskets have won many awards, including Grand Champion at the Western Washington Fair. She is the author of Nature’s Touch; Basketry by Hand from Pine Needles and Gourds.

  • Margaret Mathewson

    Margaret Mathewson

    Margaret is a scholar, teacher, and basket maker, weaving traditional styles since 1980. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, she did graduate work at UC Berkeley focusing on contemporary issues in the maintenance of ancestral ways among native peoples in California. She also did a post‐doctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian USNMNH studying old basketry collections and working with tribes to revive traditions. She continues to attend western native weavers’ gatherings every year and works for tribes in several states on issues of land management, access to weaving materials and ancestral food plants, and on cultural resources education. Margaret works with tribal and other museums to identify basketry and to create exhibits in collaboration with tribes, focusing on native plants and ancestral technologies.

  • JoAnn Kelly Catsos

    JoAnn Kelly Catsos

    JoAnn is an award‐winning traditional black ash splint basket maker from western Massachusetts. JoAnn’s husband, Steve, harvests the black ash trees and processes them into splint, and makes the molds over which each basket is woven. JoAnn exhibits and teaches nationally, and her baskets are in many collections, including the Smithsonian. Recently, JoAnn and Steve were featured on “Handcrafted America” on the INSP network.

  • Gloria Crane

    Gloria Crane

    Gloria has enjoyed creating and teaching gourd art for over eight years, incorporating many techniques and mediums into her work, including power carving, pyrography, inks, acrylics, and natural fibers. She has earned many awards for her art, taught numerous on‐line classes, and made numerous instructional DVD’s. Gloria’s work can be viewed on her website: www.gloriousgourdcreations.com.

Register for the Baskets and Gourds Conference

Classes are beginning to fill.  Register now!

Interested in becoming a sponsor?

We would love scholarship donations to enable high school students to participate in this event.

Conference Venue

Elks Lodge, Visalia

Visalia Elks Lodge

Get Directions:

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Destination From

Destination To

For More Information

Toni Best, P.O. Box 6846, Visalia CA 93290

tonibestbaskets@gmail.com 559-627-5430

Lunch

Lunch can be pre-ordered each day. Be sure to complete the lunch form found in the brochure and send it in with your registration!

Where to Stay

A block of 50 rooms at $80 per night has been set aside at the Lamp Liter Inn (walking distance to Elks Lodge) – Reserve Early by Phone! Lamp Liter Inn, 3300 W. Mineral King Ave. (559) 627-0787

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