Natural Fibers Group Education & Outreach

From the beginning, our group has been about reaching out to make others aware of a heritage skill and art form that has been in decline in the United States for many years. Basketmaking is an ancient technique that predates pottery. Indigenous people used plants that were available in their areas to weave utilitarian objects that helped them in their everyday lives. An art form evolved fueled by their needs, resources, expertise, and vision.

Today most baskets are made using patterns and highly processed imported materials, sometimes giving cookie cutter sameness to what was once a highly individualized craft that connected the basketmaker to his surroundings. The use of our own materials has almost been forgotton. We would like to help revive that knowledge, by perpetuating the tradition of making baskets from what can be gathered, by sharing knowledge about traditions, plants and techniques relating to natural basketry and other creative forms.

 


Young student learning her first basketry
techniques from Natural Fibers Group
member, Pamela Zimmerman at the 2006
Youth Arts Festival. Learning with pipe
cleaners and yarn is an easy way for young
children to start.

 

NFG member, Mark Barnes, demonstrates rib technique with kudzu

2006 Youth Arts Festival, East Carolina University

Weaving a beginners flower at the festival



 

 

Member, Lynn Hoyt, demonstrating

 



 

 

 

 

Proudly displaying her finished flower with
woven center! Kids are the best students!

2005 Pitt County Fair Display

Another educational display from the Natural Fibers Group
Members (l to r) Gloria Jones, Cassandra Jones, below, Stephen Jones.
1st place Civic and Community displays.

2005 Youth Arts Festival

Festival-goer working on a "people basket"..
where many people can try their hand at
coiling a prepared start with pine needles.
We draw names of all who stitched and give
the finished basket away!

 

 

 


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Mark Barnes demonstrating rib techniques
2005 Youth Arts Festival at
East Carolina University

Natural Fibers Group's 2004 Pitt County Fair
Display for Civic & Community Groups. 1st place!

2004 Pitt County Fair

 

 

 

Pamela Zimmerman with 2004 Pitt County Fair Display
Greenville, NC. The display showed natural materials
that the group collected and processed and woven items
we made from them. Our exhibit fulfilled the category
theme with signage and display showing how our group
activities benefit the community.