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Meet the Members of The Mammoth Cave Basket Makers Guild

Charles and Charlene Long

Willow and Honeysuckle Baskets

Charles and Charlene Long
1188 Wabash Rd
Upton, KY 42784
(270) 531-2321

"I think to become a good basket maker you have to like working on baskets. For myself, it relaxes me. Our baskets are all a little different. It is difficult to make them all alike. I hope that the tradition continues to be passed down in the family."

Charlene Long

Charles and Charlene Long of Upton, Kentucky make willow and honeysuckle baskets. Charles has been making baskets off and on for almost 50 years. He learned the craft as a child, from his parents. His family members have been making baskets for five generations. Charlene learned how to make baskets about 20 years ago from her husband.

Basket making is a tradition that has been passed down in most families. Years ago, most people would only teach members of their own family because they didn't want others knowing their distinctive style secrets. Now that is changing and the basket makers actively promote their craft in the community so that the art of basket making is kept going.

The Longs demonstrate for schools and also for groups that are interested in basket making. They are actively involved in the Mammoth Cave Basket Makers Guild. The Guild promotes traditional basket making in the south-central Kentucky region. The Longs, and many other Guild members, use only natural materials that they gather themselves in the production of their baskets.

In addition to the willow and honeysuckle baskets, Charlene is learning to make white oak baskets from fellow Guild member Leona Waddell.

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