Toni Best (an original Le Petit Noël artist) has been a creator and advocate of basketry for over fifty years.Starting with reed, she now specializes in pine needle coiling, and coiling on gourds while showing the influence of Native American styles and her own imagination. Presently, she exhibits at shows around the state, and teaches classes at her studio in Visalia, California, as well as around the state. Recently branching out and exploring greater use of color and design, she has expanded from more conservative art, to one illustrating greater freedom.
Originally from the east coast – Virginia and North Carolina, Best received her first basket training in willow and reed. Utilizing this medium in a variety of styles, she eventually extended her craft to coiled basketry fabricated from pine needles and raffia. Using these natural materials, Best has expanded upon native designs and weaves basketry that echo many American cultures while illustrating her own innovations and imagination. She says, “Art has been the core of my existence since childhood. For me, creating a basket reveals part of my soul or inner self. I love pine needle basketry since it is possible to create movement with the needles while creating art. Alternating between a more classic style and colorful flights of imagination makes this art form rewarding to create.”
Learn more at tonibest.com
Details about Le très Petit Noël happening on December 5-6, 2015: HERE