A basket full of art


Midway graduate revives art of making baskets, designing gourds

By Kristy D. Carter - kcarter@civitasmedia.com



Photos by Kristy D. Carter|Sampson Independent Rhett Naylor, a graduate of Midway High School, has taken on the art of pine needle basketry and gourd art.


The pieces of art made from gourds and pine needles take between five and 20 hours to make.


Rhett Naylor has used his gourds to make masks.


Rhett Naylor says that none of the pieces of art are alike, all taking on a different look and form.


Rhett Naylor has learned how to stain the pine needles to give his baskets a different look.


Rhett Naylor has learned how make his art different by adding adornments and painting to the pieces.


Some of the gourds have decorations done through wood burning and some of the pine needles have been stained.


Between five and 20 hours are spent on making the pine needle baskets, an art Rhett Naylor learned in high school.


By Kristy D. Carter

kcarter@civitasmedia.com

For centuries, Native Americans have found ways to use nature in daily life. And items that were once used for household chores can often become artistic creations.

Rhett Naylor, a graduate of Midway High School, learned the Native American art of gourds and pine needle basketry from his high school art teacher, Brian Post, himself was Native American.

“I loved the stuff I saw him doing with the gourds and I wanted to learn how to do it myself,” Naylor shared during a recent interview, his work cocooning him in a creative wonderland.

The Midway graduate noted that his early experiences with pine needle basketry led him to make complete baskets. Eventually, he learned how to mix the arts and use gourds and pine needles in the same piece of art.

“Once you get started, the pieces just go wherever,” Naylor explained.

Of the nearly 200 pieces he has created, there are no two are alike. His work varies in size, with his largest being about 12 inches tall and 12 inches around.

“I enjoy sitting around and playing with the different looks,” he explained.

Adding to the creativity, Naylor now can carve and stain the gourds, tint the pine needles and add adornments to some of the pieces.

While most of his pieces take about five hours to create, Naylor says he does have some that took about 20 hours. The work, he says, is done in bits and pieces.

Gourd art and pine needle basketry has long been used by the Native Americans in an artistic fashion.

Native American gourd art was found in many of the tribal ceremonies, while the gourd, in its younger stage, provided food for the native people. Gourds have also been used for dipping, drinking, cooking, serving, eating and storing food and liquids.

Started more than 9,000 years ago by the Seminole Indians, pine needle baskets were used in many different ways by the Native Americans. Different tribes used different weaving techniques, basket shapes and characteristic patterns in the basket art.

Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.

Photos by Kristy D. Carter|Sampson Independent Rhett Naylor, a graduate of Midway High School, has taken on the art of pine needle basketry and gourd art.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_RN1.jpgPhotos by Kristy D. Carter|Sampson Independent Rhett Naylor, a graduate of Midway High School, has taken on the art of pine needle basketry and gourd art.

The pieces of art made from gourds and pine needles take between five and 20 hours to make.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_RN2.jpgThe pieces of art made from gourds and pine needles take between five and 20 hours to make.

Rhett Naylor has used his gourds to make masks.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_RN3.jpgRhett Naylor has used his gourds to make masks.

Rhett Naylor says that none of the pieces of art are alike, all taking on a different look and form.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_RN4.jpgRhett Naylor says that none of the pieces of art are alike, all taking on a different look and form.

Rhett Naylor has learned how to stain the pine needles to give his baskets a different look.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_RN5.jpgRhett Naylor has learned how to stain the pine needles to give his baskets a different look.

Rhett Naylor has learned how make his art different by adding adornments and painting to the pieces.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_RN6.jpgRhett Naylor has learned how make his art different by adding adornments and painting to the pieces.

Some of the gourds have decorations done through wood burning and some of the pine needles have been stained.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_RN7.jpgSome of the gourds have decorations done through wood burning and some of the pine needles have been stained.

Between five and 20 hours are spent on making the pine needle baskets, an art Rhett Naylor learned in high school.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_RN8.jpgBetween five and 20 hours are spent on making the pine needle baskets, an art Rhett Naylor learned in high school.
Midway graduate revives art of making baskets, designing gourds

By Kristy D. Carter

kcarter@civitasmedia.com

Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.

Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.

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