BEREA — Virginia Petty, of Berea, will demonstrate how she creates miniature baskets from dried natural materials on Saturday, Jan. 30, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
Petty has been making baskets for many years and is primarily self-taught. For her demonstration she will use the natural dried leaves and vines that she finds and gathers in the region surrounding her gardens and yard in Madison County. Petty collects her materials and allows them to dry naturally. She uses the ‘bast’ or inner bark of numerous plants such as mulberry root, bittersweet, and Indian hemp, as well as daylily leaves, Siberian iris leaves, Peruvian daffodil flower stalks and hosta leaves.
Baskets woven from natural materials have evolved into a variety of styles. Some of Petty’s baskets have formal structures such as ribs, rims, handles and feet. Others are created from materials braided into coils, and some are woven from material crisscrossed from the bottom and woven upwards, adding more strips of material to increase the size. Baskets can also be created in a freeform manner into asymmetrical shapes, a technique which Petty uses to create her many of her miniature baskets.
Baskets by Petty are regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Berea Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea features works by more than 700 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. A gallery exhibit, “It Takes Two: Collaborations by Kentucky Artisans” is on display through Feb. 27, 2016 and on display in the lobby, “Kentucky Clay: A Continuing Tradition.” For more information about events call 859-985-5448, go to the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentucky.artisan.center.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.