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On Saturday, Jan. 5, Virginia Petty of Berea will demonstrate how she creates miniature baskets from dried natural materials from 10:30 a.m. – 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 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 Virginia 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 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from more than 100 counties all
across the Commonwealth. A special exhibit, “The Threads that Bind: Textile Works by
Kentucky Artisans,” is on display through Feb. 23, 2013. For information about the center’s
events call 859-985-5448, visit us on Facebook at,
or go to the center’s website at

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



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