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Vaniman offers basket-weaving class in Manisique

August 16, 2012
Daily Press

MANISTIQUE - Many individuals use baskets to decorate their homes and provide a way to store papers and projects. However, anyone who has ever wanted to learn to make a basket ourselves, skilled teachers are difficult to find.

Fortunately, one such teacher lives in the local area - Susan Vaniman of Germfask.

Vaniman has been weaving baskets and teaching basket-weaving throughout the United States for more than 20 years. With Vaniman as the teacher, the Lake Effect Community Arts Center is offering a Basket Weaving Class in Manistique on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Habitat for Humanity's Ed Havitz Room, 401 Deer Street.

Article Photos

Courtesy photo

Susan Vaniman of Germfask will conduct a basket-weaving class in Manistique on Sept. 15. Participants will have the opportunity to make a basket to take home.

Vaniman began her basket-weaving career in Kansas as a student in a class such as this one. As the class progressed, she and a friend realized they enjoyed the experience and felt they could continue on their own. Buying basket patterns, trying them out, creating their own patterns, buying and experimenting with materials and dyeing, they continued to improve.

By now, Vaniman says she has taught basket-weaving across the eight states they have lived in, but until her retirement from teaching elementary school a year ago, creating baskets was a pleasant hobby. With the freedom of more time, Vaniman has begun spending more and more time with her baskets and her garden, another love of hers.

Her husband, Mark Vaniman, is the manager of Seney Wildlife Refuge.

Participants in the class will come away with a lovely large market basket (10x14-inch base and 14-inches high) with a wooden handle. If desired, colorful stripes may also be added. This basket would make a lovely wedding or birthday gift; is perfect to sit hearth-side holding kindling or pine-cones; could hold Farmer's Market purchases; or be used to store current craft, knitting, or sewing project.

The $40 class fee includes all materials and tools needed, so participants only need to bring themselves, an apron or work shirt that might become stained, and a lunch as, work time being short, the group will continue to work as they eat.

Vaniman says she has only ever had one student who did not finish by the end of the day, participants can plan to leave with a finished and ready-to-use basket.

Registration is available online at or by contacting Lucia Leonardelli at 283-2008 or Stephanie Reese at 283-1001. Final day to register is Sept. 3.



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