Meet the Teachers of TBWA's 2018 Conference:
Sandy Atkinson began weaving in 1983 when she was home with her four daughters. In 1985, she and her husband Steve opened Atkinson's Country House, where she could teach basket weaving and sell supplies. In 1986 Sandy started producing a PBS series about Country Basket Weaving. Sandy and Steve continue to work at their basket studio in Lennon, Michigan. They live on a small farm, have eight grandchildren and love to travel in the motor home around the USA to teach. She has taught in over 14 states.
Classes: 111, 207, 212, 301, 310, 401
Steve Atkinson worked for GM for 34 years before joining Sandy at Atkinson's Country House. He oversees packing and shipping, plus anything else that needs doing. Steve also took up woodcutting and now cuts most of the woodwork for the shop. Steve took up seat weaving and really enjoys coming up with new patterns to weave. He builds all his own seat frames. Steve has taught in over 14 states. Steve continues to work in the basket studio in Lennon, Michigan with wife Sandy.
Classes: 115, 201, 208, 303, 307, 404
Jo Campbell-Amsler has been using willow in her basketry work for 37 years. Her work has been featured in magazines, books, and in exhibits across the United States. One of the most recent exhibits is “A Measure of the Earth” at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. She teaches throughout the country, and is also a co-organizer for two retreats: The Willow Gathering and Willow Weekend. She has hosted several basket tours to Ireland, Scotland, Spain, France and Denmark, visiting with willow basket weavers there and learning new skills and techniques. In 2017, she traveled to England and Wales to work with weavers there.
More information can be found on her website:
Classes: 105, 219, 315, 403
About 10 years ago, Shelia Guidry was introduced to gourds as an art form and fell in love with them. She learned to carve, coil, weave, wood burn, etc., on gourds and has won many awards, including Best in Masters’ division at the Lone Star Gourd Festival. She has taught basic weaving and coiling classes on gourds in Texas, Louisiana and Missouri. In her classes, Shelia discusses what gourds are, how to select gourds for weaving, and how to cut and clean them. All gourds in her classes will be ready for weaving — cleaned, dyed, and drilled.
Classes: 202, 205, 222, 308
Karen Hobbs has been a multi-media artist for many years. Her love of teaching basketry has become her passion along with brooms. Karen’s love of brooms has now extended into her first book, coming out in December 2017. She is a member of many guilds across the country and teaches at various conferences and at her studio, as well.
Classes: 107, 203, 211, 313, 407
Julie Kleinrath began weaving in 1990 and has been teaching since 1993. She published her first book in 2010 and is working on her second reflecting her own designs and tidbits for weavers of all levels. Julie’s baskets have been exhibited in galleries and have won several awards, and she has taught in over 35 states. She is currently working out of her studio and store located in Grand Junction, CO. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing the joy on her students’ faces when they finish their first basket.
Classes: 102, 114, 213, 221, 309, 406
Sharon Klusmann has been weaving, designing and teaching basket weaving for 33 years. Her website (www.SharonKlusmannnn.com) has 7 pages of her original designs. She teaches basketry from her home studio in Tallmadge, OH, and at national conventions and guilds throughout the country. Three of her designs were featured in “Create and Decorate Magazine”, and she wrote “Business in a Basket” to help others who love basket weaving turn their passion into a successful teaching business.
Classes: 110, 218, 312, 402
Martha May has been making baskets for sixteen years. She owns a basket shop, Homestead Baskets, where she makes and sells baskets and basket making supplies. Her shop is in Central Texas in a Craft Village that makes and sells traditional crafts. Martha has taught basket making classes for the Ploughshare Institute for Sustainable Culture for 10 years. She teaches a wide variety of basket technique, including pine needle, twill, and ribbed baskets.
Classes: 104, 216, 311
Jill Robinson has been weaving baskets since 1987, and creating gourd art since 2008. She has taught basket weaving since 1991, has been judge, juror, featured artist for show publications and has won numerous awards in both areas of baskets and gourds art. In 2015, Jill was selected to be a reviewer for the Texas Commission on the Arts for new official Texas Cultural Districts. She is currently President of the Central Texas Basket Weavers Guild, has served as Board Member of the TBWA, and is a charter member of both organizations. Texture, color, and design, whether contemporary or traditional, inspire Jill’s creativity.
Classes: 113, 217, 316, 409
Jackie Thomas took her first basket weaving class in 1993 and has been weaving and learning ever since. When she moved to Texas in 2000, Jackie started selling her baskets at local craft fairs and soon after joined the Central Texas Basket Guild. After numerous requests, she started teaching basket weaving to beginners in 2007.
Classes: 106, 209, 220, 318A, 318B
Pat Vogler's love for basket weaving began in 1999 when she was convinced to take a class at the local community college. She collected antique baskets for years and her family thought she should make her own. In 2004 she opened her shop, Bittersweet Baskets, where she teaches and sells supplies. In 2007, she and her husband John started making ash bases and, in 2013, purchased Homestead Heirlooms, a leather handle making company. Visit bittersweetbasketsandsupply.com.
Classes: 112, 210, 314