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The Unexpected Connection — Sculptural Sweetgrass Coiling

November 3 - 9, 2024

Eric Stark  ·  website

Workshop Overview

This workshop will introduce students to the tools and techniques of sweetgrass coiling using a found artifact as a starting prompt. Students will begin by exploring basic and advanced coiling techniques through guided assignments, that will then be applied to two projects. The first is a functional flat bowl where students will develop their own form and select colors of thread as design elements. The second project will ask students to explore non-functional sculptural basketry, considering form, color, stitching, and new ways of making connections between different materials. Students will leave with new skills, an applicable design process, as well as some beautiful woven work. No previous basketry experience is necessary, although some experience with sewing can be helpful. Some hand strength is required.


  • How to coil sweetgrass to produce sculptural forms
  • Coiling with waxed linen thread
  • Coiling and finishing with artificial sinew
  • Exploring and inventing connections between different materials
  • Basketry design


  • Sweetgrass
  • Waxed linen thread
  • Artificial sinew
  • Found artifacts


  • An understanding of coiling techniques
  • Form making through coiling
  • Exploring ways to connect different materials
  • Basketry design process



Fees exclude housing and meal plans. Review housing options here.

Artist Bio

Originally from California and now living in Portland, Maine, Eric Stark is a teacher, architect, and maker. He received his Masters of Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor’s degree in theater design with a minor in Shakespearean literature from Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa. He currently serves as the Program Chair for the University of Maine at Augusta’s (UMA) Bachelor of Architecture program where his primary teaching responsibilities include design process, intention, and community partnering. An avid maker, it was a year-long academic sabbatical designed to explore analog and digital ways of making that ignited his love for basketry. As part of his investigations, he traveled to North Carolina, Tennessee, and Loch Na Fooey, Ireland to study basket weaving with masters of the craft. Since then, he has continued to explore various basket techniques and materials including weaving in white oak, black ash, reed, willow, wicker, paper, bamboo, chenille stems, and most recently, sweetgrass. His work has been included in a number of exhibits including shows at UMA’s Danforth Gallery, Zero Station Gallery, the Floyd Center for the Arts, the d’Art Center, the Arundel Farm Gallery, PopUp 265 Augusta, and at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Stark currently sits on the board of the National Basketry Organization where he works to promote the amazing world of basketry.

  • Eric Stark
  • Eric Stark
  • Eric Stark
  • Eric Stark
  • Eric Stark
  • Eric Stark


In order to complete your registration, a $300 deposit is required.

Call 865-436-5860 with questions about registering for this workshop.

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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