Meet The Onliners

Cathryn Peters 
The Wicker Woman

Cathryn Peters is a full-time basketmaker, chair caner and wicker restoration specialist from Zumbro Falls, MN. She began her weaving career 22 years ago when her mother-in-law asked her to reweave the seat of an old chair. The seat was to be woven in the "rush" pattern and Cathryn was given the chair, materials to complete the job and an instruction article out of a magazine!

 When her children were little, the part-time business that ensued allowed her to care for her children as well as make a little spending money on the side, repairing chairs and weaving baskets along with working as a waitress. The two kids are grown and living on their own. Neither of them are into baskets or wicker work, but treasure the days that Mom conned them into helping at art shows and putting up with the mess of reed, chairs and baskets on the living room floor. Now it's just Cathy, hubby John and "Molly" their young chocolate Lab at the Peters residence.

 Seven years ago, Cathryn spread her wings and decided to go full-time as a weaver. Her "bread and butter" work is restoring antique wicker furniture and reweaving all types of chair seats; hand and sheet cane, paper fibre rush and cattail/bullrush, splints, Danish Modern, rawhide and oriental seagrass.

1890's rocker before, during and after restoration

Most of Cathryn's time is devoted to restoring furniture, but sessions are taken to honor the creative side too, weaving her signature, original design, deer antler baskets....


and baby cradles and bassinets...


Cathryn loves to demonstrate, write, lecture and educate people about wicker furniture and basketweaving. She frequently demonstrates for charities, elementary schools, antique clubs, and basket guilds. Since wicker restoration has taken over the shop, Cathryn offers classes through the local community education programs. Her work can be seen in her shop, at regional galleries, and in magazines. The Wicker Woman now owns the 100 year old building that houses her shop where she works reviving the tradition of the owner living above the store. If the "open" sign is in the window, stop by and watch the Wicker Woman weave to preserve American wicker history.

Editor's note(8/22/98): Cathryn has been telling us about the airplane seats she has been weaving for a replica Sikorsky S-38 amphibian airplane being built by a company in Owatonna, MN for the Johnson's Wax Company. Now that the project is finished, she is sharing these pictures and information with Baskets, Etc. to pass on to all of you. About this undertaking she writes:

 Here are pictures of the wicker airplane seats that I made. Born Again Restorations (BAR) made the steel framework and then I applied rattan poles for the seat and back frameworks and then actually wove the seats and backs out of 6 MM dyed and natural cane. I made two seats and it took me over 50 hours to complete each chair.


The plane is completed now and they are doing several tests before it will be taken up in the air, but the hope is that it will be ready to fly by this fall. Johnson's Wax owner, Samuel Johnson, will recreate the 15,000 mile trip to Brazil that his father made in 1935 to discover the carnauba wax used in the product.

  On the left is a picture of one of the original seats used as a model.

On the right is one of Cathryn's new seats installed in the replica plane.

For larger versions of these pictures, see Weaver's Words

 For lots of pictures of the airplane project, see the Johnson's Wax website.

* * *
In Memory of
Cathryn's BasCat, GM (Grease Monkey)

Since the time this article was posted, Cathryn has relocated to Angora, MN.
You can contact Cathryn or phone her at 1-888-WIC-KRWN or 1-888-942-5796

Baskets, Etc. thanks The Wicker Woman for sharing her talents with our visitors.

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