Make your own free website on

basket class in progress, photo by Leigh AdamsLois Rainwater, photo by Toni Best

Review of
Lois Rainwater's
Summer Coiled Grass Basket class!

Another round of wonderful coiling classes has been posted for those of you who are fortunate enough to live in CA, taught by a teacher said to be gifted and inspiring...Lois Rainwater (at right), who is recently returned from a hiatus enforced by hip replacement surgery.

It appears her classes are already filling. Three Pine Needle Group members attended the Summer Grass Coiling Class, held in late July at Lois' home studio. Check her class schedule for additional classes!

Toni Best coiling in the class, too! Photo by Leigh Adams
Toni Best,    a Native American style basketmaker, and teacher of coiling and gourding, was attending one of Lois' class for the first time. Toni writes:

"Lois Rainwater is such a nice lady..we are lucky to be able to take classes with her.

Basket class in prgress, photo by Toni Best ?I can't wait until December when we will take one in which you take the whole king palm seed stem (infloresence) and weave it onto itself. They are beautiful.

"Lois had green grasses she had collected from about 2 years ago. She taught us how to coil using the green grass...start, stitches and techniques she uses. I am including a picture of Lois, one of all of our starts plus some of Lois' and the basket I completed the next day which I started at Lois'.

close up of class baskets, photo by Toni Best "I truly got inspired..she had a rosemary basket. so when I came home, I cut rosemary and wove one. The leaves help hinder seeing the stitches...and she had some kelp baskets. My tub is now full of kelp and I plan to weave one today. I had used kelp as the final rim on a gourd, but have not yet woven an entire basket with it."

Toni Best, finished grass basketToni Best, finished grass basket

And here are the finished basket photos - LOVELY!

See Leigh's review, below, for links to MORE photos from Lois Rainwater's Summer Coiled Grass basket class!

(Check Toni's gallery for baskets!)

Leigh Adams coils at Lois Rainwaters class, photo by Toni BestLeigh Adams    has been a student of Lois for some time now. An experienced basketmaker and teacher in her own right, best known for her fancifully carved, painted, and coiled gourds.

(Check out Leigh's Gallery for her gourds and baskets!)

Leigh Adams first pine needle button basket, at right, shown with a Tarahumara plaited pine needle basket, photo by Leigh Adams We celebrated with her when Leigh made her first button basket under Lois' tutelidge. (at right, with a Tarahumara plaited pine needle basket.) Some of Leigh's experience:

"We all were so happy to be there and it would be so good for people to know how we all did it differently, how we each changed things to suit ourselves. To me, the grass looked fresh and green, but it had been picked and stored in the garage for 2 years! Then she soaked it for an hour.

Starts of student projects, photo by Toni Best "Like pine needles, the hardest part was the start although we began with a knot in the grasses! Then a button and then just like any other coil. Sue had perfect stitches, Toni enclosed a coil, of course, I told jokes, took pictures and talked too much, Suzanne got tired and was unhappy that her basket was not perfectly round but it made us all think about doing different shapes and Lois told us about a student who angled the sides of her basket to create an octagonal form. The fifth lady had been working in isolation with a kit she bought and was so excited to hear about the pineneedle group that she could hardly stand it! She'd been making coiled raffia baskets with raffia wrapped over a raffia core. They were fabulous! And so tough and strong you could sit on them if they were larger."

Now Leigh brings us a lovely series of photos of the summer grass class, which is featured on Lois' own website.

Sue Erb coils in the Summer Grass class, photo by Leigh Adams Samples for Grass Basket class, photo by Toni Best Sue Erb

Sue writes:

"I felt cradled in the arms of sister basketmakers...a natural gathering of weaving energy.

"Lois is so maternal, and so talented. She is such a tolerant, and informative teacher.

"It was a fluid day that left a warm memory. "

And if you are close enough, you need to start figuring out to to attend one yourself. (and tell us all about it.)

Pine Needle Group Logo, created by Carol Antrim links checked by B. West, 1/25/04, thanks!