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Judy Mallow in her booth at the North Carolina State Fair, 2000, The Village of Yesteryear Booth, photo by B. Stiles, used by permission

About Judy M. Mallow

For five generations the women in my family have handed down their basket making techniques. As a small child, I helped my grandmother, Nina Prim, gather the southern longleaf pine needles that grew in the sandhills area of North Carolina. As she coiled her basket, I would remove the caps of each pine needle that went into it. This was the beginning of what would later become my life-long career.

Nina Prim and her sister, Alma Hemmings, were true innovators of this ancient craft. Their first baskets were sewn with raffia, a natural binding material from the raffia palm tree. However, they found that raffia didn't hold up to years of daily use, and at that time was costly. In the 1940's they began trying other threads. Cotton tobacco thread was used, but like raffia didn't wear well. Later nylon thread from a local fabric mill was given to my grandmother. This became the thread of choice for the talented sisters. The nylon thread was unbreakable and very durable through the years. (I have several of their baskets and they are as strong and intact as the day they were made.) Nina and Alma were the first to incorporate thin slices of black walnut into their pine needle baskets.

For the past 20 years I have been devoted to the preservation and teaching of this pre-columbian art form. I have written and published two books on pine needle basketry, the second being the first hardback book ever published on this subject.

Chronology/Teaching Experience

  • 2003 - Accepted into the National Register's Who's Who in executives & professionals publication.
  • 2002 - DIY (Do It Yourself - TV) taping
  • 2001 - 2002 -Received Grants from Ohio Arts Council for apprenticeship programs (2 grants).
  • 2001 - present - Instructor at the Bay School of the Arts , Mathews, VA
  • 1998 - present - Instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, holding week - long workshops.
  • 1995 - Author, Pine Needle Basketry - From Forest Floor to Finished Project. Hardback, Lark Books, Publisher
  • 1994 - Featured Artist, North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, NC
  • 1993 - Southern Juried Exhibition, Fine Arts Museum of the South, in Mobile, Alabama
  • 1992 to 1994 - Annual three-day workshop at the Rockingham Junior High School in Rockingham, NC.
  • 1991 - Featured Speaker on Pine Needle Basketry at the Festival for the ENO River Festival, Durham, NC.
  • 1985 to 1987 - Instructed various Adult Workshops in North Carolina, including Recreation Departments in Apex and Raleigh, NC; and the Cary Women's Garden Club, in Cary, NC.
  • 1984 to 2001 - "Village of Yesteryear". This group is a non-profit, educational organization working under the direction of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. For ten days during the North Carolina State Fair, members demonstrate and educate the public to the heritage crafts.
  • 1984 - Author, Pine Needle & Nut Crafting.

Published Works of Judy Mofield Mallow

  • Pine Needle & Nut Crafting - Written, illustrated, and published by Judy Mofield Mallow, Copyright, 1984.
  • The Complete Book of Nature Crafts - Rodale Press, 1992.
  • "Blue Ridge Range - The Gentle Mountain" - National Geographic, 1992.
  • Nature Crafts for Christmas - Rodale Press, 1994.
  • Treasures for the Christmas Tree - Sterling Publishing, 1994.
  • Nature Crafts with a Microwave - Sterling Publishing, 1994.
  • The Complete Book of Nature Craft Techniques - Rodale Press, 1994.
  • Pine Needle Basketry - From Forest Floor to Finished Project. Hardback, Lark Books, 1996.
  • Better Homes and Gardens Craft Showcase - 1995-1996, Judy M. Mallow's Pine Needle Baskets featured on cover.
  • Mother Earth News - September, 1997. Article on "Making a Pine Needle Basket", by Judy M. Mallow
  • Jewelry from Nature - Lark Books, 1998.
  • Make Your Own Great Earrings - Lark Books, 1998.
  • Making the New Baskets - Lark Books, 1998.
  • By Hand - 25 Beautiful Objects to Make in the American Folk Art Tradition - Lark Books, 2000.
    (to see more about kits and books by Judy Mallow, click here)
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