Kentucky Tourism
Handwoven Baskets

Worley, Elizabeth — Handwoven Baskets

Lexington, KY


functional, reed baskets

As the daughter of an army officer, Elizabeth Worley has lived many places. Her Alabama-born father met her mother in Germany near the end of WW II. They married and were still stationed there when Elizabeth was born.


Elizabeth has always enjoyed making things. She learned creative skills by helping neighbors paint ornaments, make candles, and sew. After moving to the states she studied business and began working at Fort Knox doing a variety of jobs before marrying and settling in Elizabethtown, KY.


Elizabeth’s mother took a basketry class and then taught her the fundamentals. Elizabeth continued to read books and began making up patterns as she and her mother created baskets. A move to St. Louis prompted Elizabeth to invite her mother to visit and sell baskets at a local craft show. They sold nearly all their baskets from the trunk of their car – and Elizabeth’s basket career was off to a start.


Elizabeth moved back to Kentucky in 1990 and juried into the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program. For her  baskets, Elizabeth dyes brown reeds with walnut shells as well as commercial dyes. She likes to incorporate antique utensils and items as handles and parts of her unique baskets.


Works by Elizabeth Worley can be found at Completely Kentucky, Frankfort; Shakertown at Pleasant Hill, Harrodsburg; Kentucky Haus, Newport; Truly Bluegrass, Versailles; at numerous KY State Parks gift shops; and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.