The Pine Needle Group

Featured Basket Maker/Beader

Lyn Taylor,
"The Barefoot Beader"

Lyn Taylor, a.k.a. "The Barefoot Beader" is a lively, consistent and valuable contributor to The Pine Needle Group chats and gallery - working in media that most of us have never tried - but are inspired by. So here, at my special request is her story... one of a woman searching for her perfect means of expression, and a little fairy tale romance:

Want to see Lyns' beaded coiled baskets?

How "The Barefoot Beader" came to be...(as told by Lyn Taylor)

Lyn Taylor, The Barefoot Beader
Lyn Taylor date palm basket

Coiled of date palm budding stalks, bound with artificial sinew.
Reminds me of a bird's nest,
very primitive looking.

"First of all, I HATE to wear shoes! But, most of all, it symbolizes the freedom and contentment I’ve found in the past two years. I never really thought of myself as an artist until recently. At my advanced age, maybe I can become the “Grandma Moses” of Beads and Baskets.

"As a kid, I couldn’t draw and didn’t see other media as art. But, I always enjoyed crafts of many kinds. My favorite campcraft skill was knots and lashing. And my favorite crafts were things like beadwork (of course) and braiding lanyards, etc.

"Later as I raised my kids, I enjoyed sewing and crochet. I acquired a ridiculous assortment of fabrics and buttons. Jars upon jars of buttons. Looking back, I see all these things as the beginning of my love of beads and fibers.

Lyn Taylor, back of beaded amulet bag. Lyn Taylor, front of beaded amulet bag. I rediscovered beading about four years ago when I took a loomwork class at my Gem and Mineral Club. I was hooked! I immediately planned and made my first amulet bag. (Photos at sides) It was designed to depict the seashore. And I embellished it with shells, sea life fetishes, etc. It proved to be very prophetic. And for the first time I felt I could be an artist. I had designed it, no pattern used, and selected all the colors and textures. So I began learning other beadwork techniques. Mostly self taught from magazines and the internet.

"Then, as I was walking my inflatable lizard (??!! editors' punctuation) through cyber-space, I met my “Prince Charming” my companion, Jack. (sigh here) There I was in Texas – yearning for the seashore. He lived in Florida – only four miles from the beach! I moved to Florida after he promised me my own “messy room” for my beading and other craft supplies. His encouragement and support have helped me nurture my abilities.

How Lyn does it:

Lyn Taylor, Bead mix.
This shows the "bead mix" I use to embellish a basket. I just start gathering beads the right colors and types. I pile them in a bowl - this flea market bowl is just right. I may keep the accent beads separate so they can be distributed evenly. Then I just randomly pick up beads on a long beading needle and stitch them on. Pretty simple!
"Since coming to Florida, I have taken classes at Tatanka Beads in Cocoa Village. I even taught one on beaded rocks! And I joined the Space coast Weavers and Fiber Artists Guild. There was not a local bead society, but bead weavers were in the guild. It was through that group I learned coiling. In a project oriented class on beaded basket making, I learned to do coiling. I couldn’t believe it – my two favorite things, beads and fiber. I liked my first basket, but the second one was very exciting! It is the one in the About Baskets gallery.

"Then the Pine Needle Group – through your help and encouragement I am learning about new techniques and materials. I’m still working to improve my pine needle coiling. And experimenting with things like date palm, etc. And of course gourds! Is there no end?

Lyn Taylor The finished Gift Basket Lyn Taylor Coils a gift basket for her Son-in-Law

Our laundry room is getting full of basketry materials. Jack planted and nurtured gourds that are now drying nicely. When he trims the trees or cleans out flower beds nothing goes into the trash until we see what might make a nice basket!"

Applause. A very nice story. Thank you, Lyn.

Want to see Lyns' beaded coiled baskets?

Lyn Taylor, a.k.a. The Barefoot Beader is a Charter Member of The Pine Needle Group.

Pine Needle Group Logo, created by Carol Antrim

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