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Susan C. Balentine / Nature's Beauties
Susan's joy in creating with her hands was instilled at an early age by her artistic mother, from whom she...


6 Pawnee Drive
Indian Springs, AL 35124

Billy Ray Sims

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Media: Fiber

Traditional Appalachian hand-split white oak baskets are the focus of Billy Ray's craft. But he also creates baskets of New England black ash, reed, and South Carolina sea grass. His basketry represents several years of a self-directed apprenticeship that involved collaboration with a half dozen master basket makers. It is homage to an endangered heritage.

Billy Ray has worked as a magazine editor for 33 years, currently as Executive Editor of Cooking Light, but he's also a passionate craftsman. As a woodworker, he's built and restored furniture and wooden boats, including a 32-foot sailboat in which he cruised to and from Bermuda and the Caribbean for a year before moving to Birmingham, Alabama, 13 years ago.