Pine needle basketry : from forest floor to finished project
Judy Mofield Mallow.
New York : Lark Books, 2010.
This classic text in basket-making, now in paperback,nbsp;shows how to transform fragrant pine needles into stunning coiled baskets and other decorative items. Itís surprisingly easy, with all 40 projects based on wrapping needles around a center. From this simple technique, however, crafters can create limitless variety through the way they shape the coils, dye the needles, vary stitches, embellish with beads and seeds, and incorporate leather and wood. Special sections address gathering and storing materials, making lids and handles, and more. nbsp; nbsp;
Cherokee basketry : from the hands of our elders
M. Anna Fariello.
Charleston, SC : History Press, 2009.
A tradition that dates back almost ten thousand years, basketry is an integral aspect of Cherokee culture. In the mountains of Western North Carolina, stunning baskets are still made from rivercane, white oak and honeysuckle and dyed with roots and bark. "Cherokee Basketry" describes the craft's forms, functions and methods and records the tradition's celebrated makers. This complex art- passed down from mothers to daughters- is a thread that bonds modern Native Americans to ancestors and traditional ways of life. Anna Fariello, associate professor at Western Carolina University, reveals that baskets hold much more than food and clothing. Woven with the stories of those who produce and use them, these masterpieces remain a powerful testament to creativity and imagination.
Basic basket making : all the skills and tools you need to get started
Linda Franz, editor ; Debra Hammond, basket weaver and consultant ; photographs by Alan Wychek.
Mechanicsburg, PA : Stackpole Books, 2008.
Step-by-step instructions complete with detailed color photographs - Includes a chapter on dyeing reed at home - 4 basic basket projects for the beginning weaver The art of basket making is described in detail for the beginning or experienced weaver. Complete with a chapter on tools and materials to get started, this easy-to-use guide explains and illustrates how to weave reed, incorporate premade handles, finish basket rims, and a host of other basket-making techniques. It also contains a chapter on dyeing reed, a simple and cost-effective way to obtain desired colors and results. Complete instructions for making a Flared Bun Basket, Small Market Basket, Napkin Basket, and Easter Basket teach necessary skills.
Grass roots : African origins of an American art
Dale Rosengarten, Theodore Rosengarten, Enid Schildkrout ; with contributions by Judith A. Carney ... [et al.].
New York : Museum for African Art ; Seattle, WA : Distributed by University of Washington Press, c2008.
In this investigation of America's most enduring African-inspired art form, the Lowcountry basket becomes a prism through which to explore 300 years of American and African history. In scholarly essays and beautiful photographs, Grass Roots follows the coiled basket along its transformation on two continents from a simple farm tool once used for processing grain to a work of art and a central symbol of African and African American identity.

Basket making is one of the oldest handicrafts, dating back to pre-historic times. By using pitch, early Native Americans made their woven baskets waterproof.  Cherokee basketry is a tradition that dates  back ten thousand years.  These baskets were made of rivercane, white oak, and honeysuckle. Many were dyed with roots and bark. Basketry continues to be a complex art that bonds modern Native Americans to ancestors and traditional ways of life.

Baskets have been used both as functional items for storage and as decorative accents. In early days, people used them to hold wild berries, flowers, kindling, eggs, potatoes, and other freshly picked vegetables.

Today baskets continue to be made from both hard and soft materials. Soft materials include:  Sea grass, rivercane, willow, and a variety of other reeds. Yarns and ropes from natural fibers such as cotton, jute, and wool are often used.

Types of Basket Materials

Basketmakers use all kinds of materials to create baskets, even using more than one type on a single basket. Some materials include bamboo, pine needle, and willow.

Basket materials

Hard materials need to be kept moist during the basket making process. By keeping the material soaked in water, the material remains flexible and workable.

Basketry materials and tools required to make a pine needle basket today, as those make centuries ago, are:  needles, containers for soaking needles, towels, sewing needle, thread, pliers, scissors, auge, tape, and newspapers or cloths.  From these materials come works of art to be treasured for generations and popular sellers at find craft fairs.

Basket designs can be simple or complex. The more experience in basketry, the more elaborate baskets can be created.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff