Appalachian Basketry to be next Appalachian Studies Program at Blount County Public Library

Appalachian Basketry to be next Appalachian Studies Program at Blount County Public Library

“Appalachian Basketry” will be the next presentation in the Southern Appalachian Studies Series at the Blount County Public Library.

While the age-old craft of basketry can be traced back to Biblical times, this program will feature a demonstration of basic basket-making techniques and discussion of the importance of baskets in Appalachia including basket types, uses, and materials as well as Native American influences.

“Appalachian Basketry” will be presented by Bruce and Denise Robertson on Monday, October 24, at 7 p.m. at the Blount County Public Library.

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 hosted by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville, where services are an example of your tax dollars at work for you.

For further information about library programs or services, call the library at 982-0981 or visit the Web site at www.blountlibrary.org . To sign up to receive a monthly calendar by email, go to the library’s Home Page and type your email address in the box at the top right that says “Email for library news.”

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