GREENCASTLE -- Marla Helton has been selected to teach a Pottery Vase w/Tapestry Weave, Sculptural Tower, and Funky Fiber Pins at the 28th Annual Convention of the Association of Michigan Basketmakers. The convention will be held at the McCamly Plaza Hotel in Battle Creek, Mich., running from Oct. 21 through 25.
Born in Anderson and now residing in Greencastle, Helton has been weaving since 1989 and teaching since 1993. She began weaving in 1989 just to see if she liked it and was so impressed with the results that she was hooked on basketry.
In addition to teaching at retreats and workshops around the country, Helton's work can be seen at several art museums and galleries in the Midwest, as well as outdoor art shows. Her work has been featured in several publications: Sunshine Artist magazine and the cover piece on the book, "Coiled Designs for Gourd Art."
Her passion for nature and her art major background have evolved into a unique approach of weaving natural materials into pottery and hard shelled gourds, which she grows on her farm in Putnam County. She has been a speaker at Gourd Education Day and other organizations to educate the public about creative uses of gourds.
In addition to doing art shows in the Midwest, Helton teaches all over the country at conventions, retreats, and workshops. she enjoys researching various weaving techniques and media that can be combined with weaving, such as pottery and gourds. She has taken pottery classes and enjoys learning about non-traditional approaches to weaving.
Always looking for new sources of inspiration, Helton enjoys visiting art galleries, basket shops, museums, antique stores and even wading in streams. She has been involved in presentations and demonstrations throughout Indiana. She also teaches children's projects to encourage creativity.
Chosen from a pool of approximately 200 designs, Helton's designs are among the 84 to be taught at the 2009 AMB Convention, where over 300 weavers will gather to perpetuate the art of basketry.