Enriching lives through art and craft

River Cane, Traditionally Cherokee

October 16 - 21, 2022

Mary W. Thompson  ·  Arrowmont Fellowship

Workshop at a glance

Be immersed in Cherokee culture and tradition working with river cane, the most traditional of the Cherokee basketry.


  • Processing river cane splits
  • Coloring the cane splits
  • Weaving the cane splits


  • Sticks of river cane from which the splits will be processed
  • White oak for rims
  • Hickory lashing


  • Knowledge of river cane usage
  • A basket or river cane wall mat

Artist Bio

Mary W. Thompson works with traditional and contemporary art and is one of the few double weave basket makers of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. She worked with the Center for Craft in Asheville, North Carolina on a Public Art Parklet titled “The Basket.” Her artwork can be seen on the Authentically Cherokee website, and in the 2021 Smokies Sampler Exhibition, “Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.” Thompson is an Arrowmont Appalachian Craft & Culture Fellow (2021) and received the Folk & Traditional Arts Master Artist Fellowship South Arts Award.
Arrowmont Connections

  • Mary W. Thompson
  • Mary W. Thompson
  • Mary W. Thompson
  • Mary W. Thompson

Workshop Description

During this workshop students will discover, appreciate the value of, and participate in the process of creating river cane basketry. You will learn to prepare the materials for your basketry project, which includes splitting, stripping, scraping, trimming, and dying river cane splits. The instructor will have finished splits and mat kits available for purchase. The tools used to split sticks of cane and stripping the outer layer can be hazardous if not used correctly, therefore this class is limited to intermediate and advanced basket weavers.

COURSE FEE: $690  ·  materials list

The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is a priority at Arrowmont. To that end, a Personal Conduct & Social Distancing Policy has been adopted to foster a safe learning environment during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for the detailed Policy.

Workshop Is Full

ART WORKSTENNESSEE ARTS COMMISIONTENNESSEE FOR THE ARTSTennessee Specialty License PlatesEAST TENNESSEE FOUNDATIONWindgate Foundation Arrowmont is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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