working through nature


After doing quite a bit of walking through nature recently, I found myself wanting to move more towards working through it.  After wondering about the possibility of weaving baskets with cattail (inspired by being away), my friend sent me a link that got me very excited.  So excited, that after wondering about it for a couple of days, I signed up!  This will be the first workshop I have attended as a student.

Julia Parker, 85,  leads the 3 day workshop along with her  daughter and granddaughter. I understand there are still spots available.

“Take from the earth and
give back to the earth, and don’t forget to say please and thank you. It is the fiber and not the weaver who makes a beautiful basket.” ~Julia Parker

(The currently expanding Rim Fire in Yosemite is far away from the workshop location and park and fire officials are hopeful that life and structures will be spared.)

In preparation, I am studying a bit on the following topics: Yosemite Valley basketry, Paiute and Miwok people, among other things. I found a copy of Earth Basketry on my account and it should be here soon. I also ordered a used copy of Tending the Wild online and will add that to the study list.

I have been fascinated with California’s indigenous people for a while now. Every trip up and down the coast adds new understanding.  I have only scratched the surface but hope this workshop will add depth and more understanding.

The exact location where we stay in Mariposa was a summering home of local Miwok as noted in many historical documents as well as evidenced by the abundant granite mortar holes nearby (used as acorn grinding sites).  I have blogged about that before…here in 2007. I have spent many summers wondering about them and their lives, in this place.


So it’s back north at the end of September for a short stay.  This means that much work must get done in the meantime since the Houston Quilt Festival is looming.  One of my two workshops is filled- the other only had two spots left as of last week (#708 Indigo in the 21st Century).  However, there are 5 spots left in the two day workshop upcoming at the Japanese American National Museum August 31 -Sept.1.  Contact the JANM to register for this workshop.



10 thoughts on “working through nature

  1. velma bolyard

    glennis it’s a pleasure and honor to make black ash baskets with the elders…i’ve twice worked with native women, one mohawk, one wabanake, and both had daughters with them…and both were very different but wonderful teachers.


  2. vivian helena Aumond-Capone

    Have fun with it.. and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to learn from Elders. If you are up this way call ahead and find out if Mono Museum in North Fork is open, they have some wonderful local Indian art.. We have one grinding hole on our property.. a special location. Best in the winter, when the snakes sleep!


    1. shiborigirl Post author

      yeah, one of the spots i visit there i wondered about the snakes…thanks for the tip on the Mono Museum. will check that out on another occasion as this one won’t have any extra time for that. a privilege for sure!!


  3. janicezindel

    The cattail basket workshops sounds so interesting, good to be a student occasionally and stretch ourselves, we never know what new directions it might take us. Lots of cattails where I live (area) and I’ve had an old version of that book on my shelf for years. I have an old rug loom designed by Osma Gallinger Todd.



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