Shirley Taylor makes white oak baskets dyed with walnut and bloodroot. She can also demonstrate basketmaking and teach hands-on classes.
Born and raised in Big Cove, Shirley Taylor graduated from Cherokee High School and continues to live on the Qualla Boundary, where she owns and manages a motel. She learned basketry from her mother-in- law, well-known basket maker Emma Taylor, and has practiced basket making for the past fifteen years. Her grandchildren are now learning to make baskets from her.
Shirley Taylor has presented programs and hands-on workshops for elementary schools, heritage days, and festivals. A member of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, she sells her baskets there, at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and by special order. Her baskets have won ribbons at the Cherokee Fall Fair and are exhibited at the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University.
From November through March, Shirley Taylor is available to demonstrate basket making, from producing the splints and dyeing them to weaving the basket. She recommends at least four-to-five hours of instruction for making a simple basket. She can provide materials for a fee. Her honorarium is negotiable, and travel, lodging, and expenses should be included. She would like permission to sell her baskets when she does demonstrations.