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Sweetgrass Basket Weaving

October 6 - 11, 2024

Lynette D. Youson  ·  facebook

Workshop Overview

In this workshop students will learn how to (coil) weave by hand to make the most traditional basket that was used to separate the rice in fields. This historical art form is from the coast of Sierra Leone, West Africa and was brought to America by enslaved people over 300 years ago. During class you will discover that the materials used are naturally grown along the coast of South Carolina and include sweetgrass, pine needles, bull-rush, and palmetto palm. The only tool used during the time was an animal bone, but today a utensil and scissors are used. Open to all skill levels.


  • Basket weaving
  • Coiling
  • Use of various natural materials


  • Sweetgrass, pine needles, bul-rush, and palmetto palm
  • Basketry tools


  • Working with naturally grown materials
  • Historical perspectives in basketry
  • Creating a basket



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

Artist Bio

Lynette Youson is a fifth generation sweetgrass basket weaver from the low country of South Carolina and a sweetgrass after-school instructor. She started weaving as a child, learning her craft from her great-grandmother, and has continued to weave with her mother for over 45 years. Youson is dedicated to sharing the historical importance of this ancient art form. She has appeared on the CBS Sunday Morning and has been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles. One of her Rice Fanner Basket is on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

  • Lynette D. Youson
  • Lynette D. Youson


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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