March 27, 2015

River cane weaving workshop is April 11-12

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Participants in a spring workshop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center will learn how to weave river cane into baskets and mats. 

The workshop is April 11-12 at the center, located about eight miles south of Carbondale off Giant City Road. The workshop begins at 10 a.m. each day and runs through 4 p.m. on April 11 and 3 p.m. on April 12. 

The cost of the River Cane Basket Workshop is $100 and covers all supplies. The registration deadline is 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 3. 

Participants will learn how to identify, select and process river cane for basket-making and about the process of dyeing the cane.  They will discover how it can be used in many ways and find out about the different styles of river cane basketry and mat-making from ancient times through today. People attending the workshop will weave a corn sifter basket using commercial rattan materials. 

Robin McBride Scott, an experienced weaver, artist and educator, will teach the workshop. The 2008 recipient of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Visiting Artist Fellowship Award, Scott has woven river cane baskets since 1996 and provided instruction and programs for all sorts of organizations and groups around the country. She is a curatorial advisory committee member for the Smithsonian Institute and for Michigan State University’s exhibit, “Carriers of Culture.” 

For more information, or to register, call Touch of Nature Environmental Center at 618/453-1121. Learn more about this and other programs at the center by visiting the website at