Indigenous Basketry & Pine Fiber Arts with Nancy
  • Walhalla, South Carolina, United States
  • 24 hours over 4 days

Indigenous Basketry & Pine Fiber Arts with Nancy

Experience Native fiber art and basketry traditions passed down through generations with Nancy, a master fiber artist who is keeping ancient cultural art forms alive. Listen to traditional stories and learn how to make functional art, baskets, paper, or Kudzu cloth using locally growing vines while enjoying the quintessential southern charm and rich heritage of Walhalla.
  • Snacks, Coffee, & Tea, Lunch


One Guest
USD $1185
Additional guest(s) (max 4)
USD $480

Meet the Artist

Nancy is a renowned fiber artist and granddaughter of Margaret Basket, a Cherokee who lived in Virginia in the mid-1800s. Born in Yakima, Washington, Nancy is passionate about innovating traditional basketry and honoring her Native American heritage. She helped start the first basketry guild in the US in modern times to share her knowledge of using materials in our own areas to make functional art.

She is known for her work with Kudzu, an imported vine growing 12 inches a day before frost, to make paper and coiled baskets, sculptures, and lampshades. In addition, she weaves cloth from the green vines, a technique she learned from a Japanese couple who have been making fabric from Kudzu for over 70 years.

While she works with Long Leaf Pine needles, a traditional Cherokee material, Nancy’s work reflects other cultures as well, drawing parallels between the diverse groups of Native peoples in the United States.

She’s committed to passing down traditions and cultural stories she spent decades learning. “I love pine baskets,” she confides. “They’re full of bright lights like the stars. That’s a Cherokee story.” Using storytelling and humor, she believes we can all learn how we are the same in so many ways.

VAWAA Includes:

  • Learn techniques of freeform weaving, coiling (sewing), ribbed baskets, cordage, papermaking or Kudzu cloth sample.
  • Gather and identify invasive vines like Kudzu, Wisteria, English Ivy etc.
  • Understand how to turn kudzu into fiber through fermentation during warm weather temperatures.
  • Create your own baskets of various sizes or shapes under the guidance of a master basket weaver.
  • Make cordage from collected fibers such as daffodil and bass wood to add to your basket.
  • Option to make paper or quilt designs using the leaf fermenting process; natural dyes; embedding and pulp painting techniques.
  • Option to make Kudzu cloth using the retting process, dyeing fiber and weaving on a small hand held loom. (Late Spring to Late Summer only)
  • Day trip to the Cherokee reservation, an hour and a half away.
  • Visit Issaqueena Falls and Stump House Tunnel with real stories behind the legends.
  • All materials, tools and homemade lunch during studio sessions.

Explore Walhalla, South Carolina

Explore the heart of southern hospitality in Walhalla, a charming city in the Appalachian Mountains' foothills. Nestled in the shadows of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains and cradled by the cool waters of the Chattooga River, the city is rich in heritage, with a fascinating history of the Cherokee people who lived in the area for generations.

The city is also known for its abundant growth of kudzu, the vines used for traditional basket weaving. Nancy is the local expert known for taming it and working with the tourism department to maintain it.

For nature lovers, Walhalla offers an abundance of natural wonders, with a majestic waterfall and enchanting cave just 10 minutes away. With 30 waterfalls in the county, visitors can also enjoy hiking, fishing, and kayaking. Despite its rural location, Walhalla is easily accessible from larger cities such as Atlanta, Asheville, and Cherokee, just a couple hours away.

Additional Details

The best time to visit South Carolina is in March–May or during Octoberfest in the fall. July is the hottest month of the year but a great time to experience Native American culture during the Cherokee Pow wow.

This VAWAA can be extended for up to 7 days. Please ask when you send your booking request.

All age levels and abilities, including those with disabilities and special needs are welcome. The studio, bathroom, and barn are wheelchair-accessible.

Nancy is her mother's caretaker and due to her mom's age and increased risk for severe Covid-19 symptoms, guests are required to be fully vaccinated prior to their VAWAA.
Nancy's Availability 4 days

Guest Reviews

  • Terry B., United States

    Many thanks to Nancy for allowing a full 7 day immersion into her creative spirit and beautiful art forms. Each day was an adventure through the gardens, learning the plants, trees and invasive species of Appalachia along with the ways we can make sustainable use of them. Gathering materials, splitting vine, weaving baskets, plant based fibers for fabric and making paper filled the week with fun. Read more

  • Valerie A., United States

    We were just so happy with the entire time spent with Nancy From learning about the plants in nature and then using them to create this art was just what we needed. Her stories were so entertains and her cooking…wow