During a very reluctant initiation in her late 20’s, JJ dove head first into understanding the feminine mysteries and rites of passage. What once felt hopeless and debilitating became her medicine and her calling. It was during this transition that she learned the power of women gathering, aligned with the natural cycles, holding each other as they journeyed their lives together. JJ’s work is a blend of holding space while encouraging self-discovery.
Ellie Richards is an artist living and working in Penland, North Carolina, she is the wood studio coordinator at Penland School of Crafts. Her work, both furniture and sculpture, are exhibited widely including recent juried exhibitions at the Mint Museum, the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design, SOFA Chicago, and the Society of Contemporary Craft. Following an MFA in Wood from Arizona State University, Ellie was a resident artist and shop technician at Peters Valley School of Craft and the Appalachian Center for Craft. Making objects in wood is the way most of her time is spent, she is interested in the intersection of working and playing and believes that tools, when used with a safe understanding, can provide empowerment and freedom. She teaches this philosophy in craft programs throughout the country.
Whether he’s pointing out poison ivy, pontificating on poke sallet, extolling the virtues of dandelions, or telling wild snake tales, naturalist, herbalist, and storyteller, Doug Elliott is known for his lively storytelling as well as his broad, practical, scientific and cultural knowledge of useful wild plants. He has written articles for regional and national magazines, authored five books, produced a number of award winning recordings of stories and songs, and is occasionally seen on PBS-TV, and the History and National Geographic Channels.
Nancy Basket takes her name from the work she does and from her Cherokee grandmother long ago, Margaret Basket. She came South in 1989 to gather pine needles and learn Cherokee stories to teach her 6 children. Nancy loves being an Artist in Education working in public schools sharing her culture, stories and art with students and teachers. Come hear her tell stories at a powwow or several Outdoor Nature organizations! In 2005 she received the SC Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage award. Nancy’s made baskets for movies, TV shows, architects and designers. She turns kudzu into baskets, folk art paper designs and murals. Visit Nancy at her Walhalla, SC home, shop, gallery and kudzu bale barn. Learn how to make cloth from kudzu vines, make quick free form baskets, wall hangings, lamp shades or sculptures. Bring your groups, schedule today.
Charity Cimarron is a mother, woodswitch, craftswoman, Waldorf Music and Handwork teacher, community organizer and performing musician. She spent many years living alternatively, off-the-grid in a straw-bale house, on a converted school bus, in tents, tipis, and yomes across the country. She loves to spend countless hours hiding out in the underbrush, learning bird songs, eating wild foods, and making medicine. As an accomplished craftswoman she has many years of experience weaving, spinning, hide-tanning, sewing, book-binding and basket-weaving. And in between all of these she squeezes in a little song or two.