Keeping alive the little-known art of pine needle basketry
Behind the little blue door on Old Highway 64 in Brasstown is a cozy shop called Pine Needles and Things. Run by artist/owner, Carmen Haynes the shop holds a variety of collectibles and the wine jelly that she makes. Its name comes from the pine needle art and supplies that are a surprise to visitors.
Almost 20 years ago, Carmen Haynes, while living in southwest Florida, saw an 84-year-old woman in a nursing home making a pine needle basket. Pine needle and saw grass baskets are traditional to the South’s coastal regions. Immediately captivated, the artist asked if the woman would teach her this craft. Right then and there, the elderly woman pulled out a piece of cardboard, poked a few holes in it, and showed her how to coil and make stitches. Carmen Hayes has been making pine needle art ever since.
Pine needle baskets are tightly woven with patterns in brown and tan. The designs swirl around a center point and are sometimes embellished with a central design or added motif. She makes and sells plates, bowls, jewelry, purses, and more all out of pine needles. Pine needles also sells supplies for people interested in learning how to make their own pine needle baskets.
Open year round (depending upon the weather) 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call (828) 557-3400 for details.