Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Janet Northern Creates Baskets from Honeysuckle Vines, Hickory Bark at Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, January 27, 2015  
Contact Information:  Gwen Heffner
Information Specialist
Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Phone: 859 - 985-5448 Ext. 230

On Saturday, Jan. 31, Janet Northern, of Mount Vernon, will create baskets using honeysuckle vines and hickory bark, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

Northern has been making baskets for 18 years and is primarily self-taught. She utilizes the wood and natural vines that she finds and gathers in the region surrounding her Rockcastle County farm to create her baskets. The eastern Kentucky woodlands give Northern inspiration as well as material from which to work.

Preparation of the honeysuckle vines involves boiling them for 30 minutes then stripping off the outer bark to reveal the honey-colored, pliable surface of the vine. When the vines are freshly cut they are pliable, but over time they dry out and need to be soaked in water to soften them.


Janet Northern creates baskets from honeysuckle vines and hickory bark


Sometimes starting with an interesting piece of wood, Northern begins to design her asymmetrical one-of-a-kind baskets, often creating multiple openings. She soaks the honeysuckle vines in water and adds in strips of hickory bark to build in structure to her beautiful asymmetrical shapes. She cuts and tapers the hickory bark into varying widths, depending on the size and function of each basket.

Works by Northern are regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily, year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea currently features works by more than 700 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. A special exhibit, “Put a Lid On It: Containers by Kentucky Artisans,” is on display through Feb. 28, 2015, and in the lobby the exhibit, “Kentucky Murals by Frank W. Long” is on display through April 18, 2015. For more information about events call 859-985-5448, go to the center’s website at or on Facebook at

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.