Getting Started With Coiling

My interest in coiled basketry started more than 8 years ago when my husband and I visited Charleston, SC for our anniversary.  I was so excited to watch the women there coiling their sweetgrass baskets and had a hard time limiting myself to buying only a few.  Once we were home I tried to find some basketry classes.  I did a few kits with reed and woven baskets and eventually found a class through my local community college.  Although I enjoyed weaving baskets, I really wanted to learn to coil.  I never could find any classes in coiled basketry so I taught myself with the help of Judy Mallow’s wonderful book Pine Needle Basketry.  Eventually, I also found Nadine Spier’s videos and some tutorials on the internet.

Initially, I just tried to duplicate the baskets in pictures.  Now I enjoy starting with something in mind but allowing the basket to “grow itself.”  One of the things I love about coiling is that I feel like I am working WITH the materials. My Purple Slide basket (Gallery) is an example of a time when the materials didn’t want to go my way, so we compromised, and I loved the final result. I like weaving baskets as well, but when I am working with reed, I definitely feel more like I am FIGHTING the materials to see who’s boss!

If you are interested in coiling, here are some of the resources that helped me get started.  Pinterest is also full of wonderful inspiration as well as links to tutorials.  I have started my own Pinterest page of designs and tips that interest me.


  • Pine Needle Basketry by Judy Mallow
  • Pine Spirit by Sande Rowan
  • Creative Coiling by Hetty Van Gurp


  • Basket Weaving Essentials by Nadine Spier
  • Pining for Your Spirit by Jayne Stanley-Colburn