Southern Appalachian Studies
Monday, October 24, 2016, 7 p.m., Library’s Sharon Lawson Room
Today’s crafts were yesterday’s necessities. One craft, basketry, yields items that are both beautiful and useful. Basket weavers Bruce and Denise Robertson will demonstrate basic basket making techniques and discuss their importance in Appalachia. Basket types, uses, and materials will be covered as well as Native American Influences.
Denise says, “Bruce Robertson specializes in two styles of baskets native to the East Tennessee area; the ribbed Egg Basket and the Cherokee design twill baskets. The ribbed egg basket was typically made of white oak by the mountain people. It is a sturdy design used to gather eggs, potatoes, or produce when paper or plastic sacks were not available. The ribbed egg basket is based on an old design of a Scottish Knitting Basket.”
“The Cherokee designed twill basket uses old historical designs such as ‘Chief’s Daughter’ or ‘Man in a Coffin’ in twill construction to represent Cherokee life. Some of the designs are simple, while others are extremely complicated. The Cherokee typically used split river cane for their material. Commercially available reed is used today.”
Bruce is a retired engineer who has always enjoyed crafting. He has seriously pursued basket making after retiring to the Maryville area in 2009. His wife, Denise, is also a basket maker and is an active volunteer at the Blount County Public Library.
Open to the public, this program is sponsored by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville. For more information about library programs or services, call the library at 982-0981 or visit the library website.