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Alter Gateway, the only basketry submission accepted to Yosemite Renaissance 37

Carolie Jensen Teaches Basketry Workshop Jan. 27-28

OAKHURST—Create your own pine-needle basket. Beginners welcome!

Fine Arts/Basketry Artist Carolie Jensen

Artist Carolie Jensen leads a pine-needle basketry workshop on Saturday, January 27 from 1 pm to 4 pm. The workshop continues on Sunday, January 28 at the same hours. The event, a fundraiser for Yosemite Sierra Artists, will be held at Bodys by Boyd, 49643 Hartwell Road, Oakhurst.

Cost and Registration

The cost is $150.00 for adults and $75.00 for students 12 years of age and up. (Pulling the sinew connecting the basket materials requires some finger strength often not present in younger children, which is why she limits participation to children 12 years and older.) YSA members’ pay only $100.00. This link takes you to registration for the class. Workshop signups are limited to 10 to 12 participants, so pre-registration is essential to ensure sufficient availability of materials. Admission is first come, first served.

Learned from the Best

Alter Gateway, the only basketry submission accepted to Yosemite Renaissance 37

Carolie learned the craft of pine-needle basketry from world-renowned basket weaver Julia Parker, a fixture at the Yosemite Visitor Center in Yosemite Valley for more than 40 years. Parker’s baskets reside on permanent display at the National Museum of Natural HistorySmithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, and the Yosemite Museum, among others. Carolie lived right outside the back gate of the Yosemite Visitor Center next to Ansel Adams’ former cabin, so it was a short trip to sit at Julia’s feet as often as she could.

An Artist Since Childhood

Carolie’s career didn’t begin with basketry, however. At the knee of her sculptor uncle, Roy, the artistic bug first bit. After that, neighbor Eva Zeitz took her in hand and taught her to paint. Upon her death, Zeitz willed Carolie, then a child of 12, all of her brushes, paints and canvases. Carolie passed her talent and love for art on to her own daughters, so it definitely has been a lifelong family love affair.

In addition to painting, Carolie has engaged in fiber arts and at one time exclusively provided custom clothing to actress June Allyson.

Natural Force, Natural Pine Needles with Black Sinew and a Pine Base.

Nowadays, her preferred media are acrylics and pine needle baskets and memory catchers. She participates in various exhibitions, including the annual Sierra Art Trails. Her creation, Alter Gateway, was the only basket to be displayed at Yosemite Renaissance 37.

Pine needles speak to Carolie’s creative soul, and they are a medium easy to find both here in the Sierra Nevada mountains and on the coast. She enjoys passing that love on to students who wish to learn the ancient technique.

All Materials Included

Basketry makings include the pine needles themselves, natural or artificial sinew in a variety of colors and a wood base, plus embellishments such as beads, natural stones or natural metal. The centers can be painted with any design the creator wishes. For her own baskets, Carolie loves to use natural wood and stone.

Trix ‘n’ Trade, currently on display at Gallery 5, Oakhurst

For the workshop, Carolie provides all materials necessary to complete a small basket or coaster, right down to a roll of athletic tape to bind sore fingers. Kits include prepared pine needles, sinew, wood centers, sewing needle, small scissors, pliers, and a “chip clip” to hold the weaver’s place when taking a break. All participants need to bring is their creativity and  willingness to learn.

Participants who wish to further their knowledge of this craft can purchase additional supplies at the workshop, including natural or colored sinew as well as selected embellishments. Carolie enjoys passing her love of creating basketry on to students who wish to learn the ancient technique.

Hummer Delight Memory Catcher, on display at Mariposa Artists Gallery

Samples of Jensen’s work, both in fine arts and basketry, are available at her online studio and in various area galleries.





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