Small is beautiful in Wichita weaver’s hands

By The Active Age | July 1, 2024

Ann Enix’s recent piece, “Challenge,” and a quarter for perspective.

When Ann Enix saw a pine needle basket at the Kansas State Weaving Conference, she was fascinated enough to buy a book and teach herself how to make them. She collected pine needles from around her cabin in Colorado and, later in California, found the long, fine needles needed to make tiny baskets like her piece pictured here, which is called “Challenge.”

Ann Enix

Enix had taken a break of some years from making baskets but at age 85 decided to make “Challenge” and enter it in the Handweavers Guild of America touring exhibit called “Small Expressions.” Her work was accepted and will be shown with 32 other pieces at the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum July 2 to Aug. 6. The exhibit then moves on to Kentucky, New Jersey and Michigan.

“I am inspired by all types of art, but especially the fiber arts,” said Enix, a native of southwest Oklahoma who lives at Larksfield Place. “Because I don’t have a background in art training, I lean towards the conservative side of the arts. Walking in the mountains or just the neighborhood and seeing wildlife and nature inspires my work.”

Describing “Challenge,” Enix said it was “made with dark brown, long, thin and limber pine needles from California. I used the coiled basket technique, the straight stitch and rows of solid wrapping with fine gray beading thread.”

In the center is a tie tack she made for her late husband. The basket is 1 inch high and 1½ inches tall.