On Saturday, March 29, Elizabeth Worley, of Lexington, will demonstrate reed basketry from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

Worley creates contrasting colors in her baskets by using walnut hulls and commercial basket dyes to turn the naturally blond reed to brown, red, green and blue. Worley began incorporating old kitchen utensils into her baskets after becoming inspired while browsing in an antique store. She now utilizes these antique elements in her baskets and incorporates kitchen utensils as handles.

Worley lived in many places while growing up in an Army family. She went to college to study business, and when her mother become interested in basketry and took a class, she then taught Worley. After they learned the basics, they studied books and began making up new basket patterns of their own.

Worley had lived previously in Kentucky, but in 1984 was living in St. Louis when she heard about a local craft show and invited her mother to join her in selling baskets. At this show, she and her mother were trying to get their baskets out of the rain and into their car trunk, when a buyer ran after them calling, “Hey, Kentucky lady!” Since then, Worley has called her basketry business, “Hand-woven Baskets by That Kentucky Lady.” 

During a visit to see her parents in Kentucky, Worley inquired about selling baskets at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. The resultant order initiated her basket making in earnest. Moving back to Kentucky in 1990, Worley juried into the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program and began selling her baskets full time.


Baskets by Elizabeth Worley 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. with the cafe open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea currently features works by more than 700 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. Special exhibits on display include, “Repurposed and Recycled: Works Kentucky Artisans,” through Sept. 6 and on display in the lobby, “Kentucky Bourbon: Distillation and Inspiration.” For more information about events call 859-985-5448, visit the center on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentucky.artisan.center, or go to the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov.

Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



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