Our Members
birthdays and bios 


January thru June birthdays...this page


Go to....July thru December birthdays


Nora Voss.

Nora Voss...1/12/46... I was in Nursing for 30 years when I was diagnosed with cancer that resulted in the amputation of my left leg. I was able to work full time, though, until I began a series of falls onto the other knee that finally rendered me totally disabled .I became involved in the arts at the time of my amputation, learning first to oil paint, then took clay lessons and became a potter throwing and firing my own work. I was also fortunate enough to be selected into a few National competitions. I maintained my studio at Artists Unlimited, inc. in Tampa, Florida for five years where I met, and took basket weaving classes from  one of the members...Although a novice, I enjoy weaving with both reed and naturals...I presently am working on a willow basket, an antler basket and have completed my first birch bark attempt....I have volunteered to teach a basket class at the local senior center.  I also recently gave a weaving demonstration at the Craft Corral here in city above the clouds, Woodland Park, Colorado. So, as you can see, I have a wide variety of interests and thoroughly enjoy all of them. There just isn't enough hours in the day.....

Click to visit Nora's Gallery in the  PNG.

Link to Nora's Gallery on the PNG.

Jill Green.

Jill Green AKA Cedar... charter member...lives near downtown Seattle (in the city), with 15 year old son, Tom, and husband, Charlie. She likes working with natural and unusual materials, and has been making baskets since about 1977. “I have been extremely fortunate to have had wonderful teachers come to Seattle!...So I feel like I have been at the right place at the right time.” She has taught at the Basketry School, and with the Northwest Basketry Guild. “I also exhibit my work once in a while. She loves to spend time with other basket makers, and plans Basket Makers' Field Trips...visits to galleries and shops displaying baskets in Seattle. She is a nurse in a same day surgery department and a Hellerwork Practitioner. Her birthday falls on Saint Antony’s Day, said to be the patron saint of basketmakers.

Deb Conness

Deb Conness AKA Deb60...1/29...from central Illinois. "I've been weaving baskets since 1993. I'm a Librarian and weave baskets for mostly a hobby now. I do have an "Open House" once a year to get rid of my excess of baskets. I've done Nantucket Baskets, which I love. But, I'm really crazy about making Willow Baskets and have 2 willow patches now. I have 3 daughters, all teens. I'll  be married 19 years in March."

Link to Deb's website.
Click the banner to visit Deb's Web Site.

Rebecca Ollom AKA Becca...2/21/55...Lives in Cross Lanes, WV. Has been weaving traditional reed baskets for 8 years. Married 20 years & has 3 children, 1 grandchild. Teaches and does a few shows. Also sells baskets at a shop in a town near her home. Member of WVBA and NCBA. "I feel very blessed to be doing something I really enjoy. I love to get together with other basketmakers who share the same addiction. Basketmakers are the greatest!"

Katie Avram.

Katie Avram AKA katieA...2/22..charter member...Florida. Teaches and does shows...Is particularly interested in Appalachian style rib baskets. In her “other life,” she teaches computer stuff.

Link to Katie's website.
Click on banner to see Katie's Web Site.


Joanne Shilling AKA Jo ... 3/24/42...Davison, Michigan   Full time Basketmaker since 1983 and began teaching in 1984. 
Has taught basketweaving in  Louisville, KY, at Michigan's convention, and at local adult-Ed classes. Has judged basketweaving at  County 4-H fairs. Has been door prize cochairman at several AMB conventions and will again be part of the convention committee in 2001..the AMB's 20th anniversary. Is a juried basket weaver and tole painter  in the  nation wide "Country Peddler" shows. 

"My husband and love of my life Gary and I have been married for 41 years. We have four grown children. Kevin, Brian, Robin, and Shawn. I am a proud grandmother of 14. Five grandsons and nine granddaughters. Gary retired in October of 1999 after being a tool and die machinist with General Motors for 42 years. After his retirement we spent 4 months in Lake Placid, Florida.  Decided we liked it so much that we bought a retirement home there. This fall we will go down after the AMB convention and stay for six months. I thoroughly enjoy weaving "Nantuckets" and black ash "Shaker" baskets. I am
finishing up my last year doing craft shows so that I may enjoy my husband's retirement."

Jo is a member of AMB, and  of the Thumbweaver's, Betsy's Bunch, and Tri County basket guilds, and of the American Professional Crafter's Guild.


Debbie Gring.

Debbie Gring... AKA debbieG ...4/26/52, married for 25 years to Dana, one son Matt who is 19 (going on 34 in his mind,) a dog Toby, and 2 cats, Pumpkin and Puddy. We live in Swanton Ohio, near Toledo. I've been basket weaving for a long time, I think I started in 1984 or 5. (I do remember the day the Challenger blew up I was taking a class in egg baskets and had been weaving for a few years then) I do not produce a high volume, this is a hobby for me. I work full time as a nurse in a local hospital. We like to travel, and reading, cooking, camping and computing are my other pastimes. I hate to clean house and only do it if it must be done! :>)

Link to Debbie's Photopoint site.
Click the banner to visit Debbie's PictureTrail site

Sue Collins...4/28...Saginaw, MI... Has been weaving for about 6 years. Belongs to AMB, Thumb Weavers and Kingston Guilds , and goes with KathyW to Hemlock on Monday nights to weave with a bunch of ladies. “I like functional baskets that can be used around the house and office.” Has worked for the Saginaw Public School for 26 years, as a secretary. Has a 15 year old daughter and a 12 year old son, also a husband and a dog. “I'll try to chat, but with 2 teens, I don't get much of a chance.”


Claudia Hopkins

Claudia Hopkins   AKA  CBasketbear ...  5/2/55...  Lives in Chepachet, R.I.  Has a full time job as a housekeeper in a Nursing Home. She has been weaving traditional reed baskets for about 8 years. Married 14 years and has one child. Teaches at the library in her hometown, besides still going for lessons herself. And she also does shows. Member of NBG. "I really enjoy weaving baskets and find other basketmakers are very friendly and helpful.

Click the banner to visit Claudia's PictureTrail site

Cindy L Frahm.  AKA creativemom...5/ 09/62.  Brand new weaver with two baskets under her belt when she joined the chat group in middle of May,2001.    "I am only on my second basket, but thoroughly loving basketmaking.  I really want to connect with other more experienced basketmakers since there is only one other in this area.  I am a homeschool mother of four children.  One is graduating later this month and the others are 9, 7 and 6 years old.  I would love all the tips and info I can get."

Kim Renich


Kim Renich  AKA Kimbob...5/18/57 ...charter member... Member of NCBA and IBA. Enjoys weaving traditional baskets, Nantuckets and minis. Began weaving in 1992 and wove sparsely for the first 2 years... then began weaving continuously after moving to NC in 1994. Enjoys teaching as well as selling her baskets at craft shows. Is in the process of moving to Missouri. “The Langston's (Jim and Diane) have been, and always will be my mentors.”

Lois Keener.

Lois Keener AKA kiki.. .5/18/48 ...charter member...Honolulu, HI. Has been weaving traditional Americana baskets for 7 years and was an addicted quilter before that....married for 25 years to the wonderful Richard (who loves to lash) and has 2 daughters, Katie, 19, and Bridget, 22 (both college students--and neither interested in weaving)....loves to read mysteries and non-fiction when not teaching basketry or working on a craft fair...lives a most spiritual life and finds meditating a great relief when weaving overwhelms! “That would be me.”

Diane Rigterink AKA diane...5/26/57...charter member...Southwest Michigan. Has been weaving for 9 years and enjoys doing Shaker and Nantucket baskets, and trying new things, but always comes back to reed baskets! “I am a member of IBA and AMB and attend every basket function that is possible. I am currently getting ready for my first show in 6 years and have had nothing but encouragement from everyone in the ‘guild’”


Gail Caron 6-12-50.  "Yes, I am getting old.  I have a Ph.D. in environmental chemistry, but since I don't play well with others, my career never really took off.  I have been told that my standards are "too high" and that nobody can live up to them.  Besides, I find the companionship of my horses, dogs, and cats preferable to most humans.  So, I began my own consulting company where I am the only person who I have to worry about.  Unfortunately, no one ever taught me how to market my skills, so I don't have as much work or income as I would like.  I began weaving almost five years ago as "art therapy" for a bad attitude and nerve damage resulting from an auto accident, making me a relative newcomer compared to most VBG members.  Like the rest of you, I was quickly addicted.  With the exception of occasional lessons from Mary Carty, I am largely self taught, since living in New Jersey does not provide many instructive weaving opportunities.  My animals keep me from being able to travel to conventions or classes, so I try to learn on my own.  My favorites are rib baskets - I like their strength and symmetry."


Kelly Pritchett

Kelly Rhea Pritchett...AKA Rhea...6/18...charter member...Hails from Tennessee. A college freshman who likes to make baskets in her free time...Which can’t be much, as she is also very active at school. We’ve heard she weaves after dark!

Eileen LaPorte ...6/21...Washington, MI. Weaving since 1983. Has visited basketry schools in Germany and England. Teaches at conventions and guilds. Considered a “taskmaster” in class, but a very funny lady who also knows how to release the tension with humor. She designs patterns (she has even been included in 2 of Lyn Silers book,) twills are considered a specialty of hers. She is always active in the AMB, currently serveing as president and is also chairperson of Woebegone Weavers Guild.

Eileen LaPorte


Carol Antrim

Carol Antrim AKA caro...6/21...charter member...East Central Indiana. Makes Traditional and Art Baskets under the supervision of her two indoor cats and when not in her garden with her outdoor cats, or with her hubby (Paul) of 30 plus years. Teaches but doesn't do shows. Also a member of HGA and The Pine Needle Group...As webmaster of this site, Carol serves as Editor of the Virtual Basketmakers.

Click the banner to visit Carol's Web Site  

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