Kathleen Janke

Townsen, TN | Exhibiting Since

I create my art in multiple mediums concentrating on pine needle basketry. It is largely inspired by my close connection to the natural environment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and my love of gardening and experience with landscape design.

Pine needle/gourd basketry goes beyond the two dimensional art form and becomes a tangible three dimensional piece of art using materials that the earth provides and I can wrap my hands around. Much of the material I grow or collect in a sustainable manner on walks and the baskets are inspired by touch, feel and a connection to the forest floor and river banks.
Baskets can be made in many different mediums, often following a pattern. They can become functional pieces of the working household; however, my baskets aren’t meant for muffins! When weaving, by wrapping and coiling the Southern Long Leaf Pine Needles together and attaching them to a gourd, I start off with a plan or idea. As I’m weaving, the basket takes on a life of its own. It takes me down a path I haven’t traveled before and evolves into an artistic journey for me. Each basket is unique and it becomes more than a sum of its parts.