Clay Burnette is a self-taught pine needle basketmaker who has been coiling longleaf pine needles with waxed linen thread for over 45 years . He has exhibited his work in over 250 venues throughout the US and abroad. In 2017, his work was included in Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America, which traveled for three years to eight venues in the US. In 2019, his work received the Award of Excellence by the National Basketry Organization (NBO), an award he also received in 2013. In 2000, his work was selected for inclusion in two significant exhibitions: Contemporary International Basketry, which toured the United Kingdom for two years; and 100 Years/100 Artists: Views of the 20th Century in SC Art, at the SC State Museum. His work is included in numerous public and private collections including Abacus Planning Group, Columbia Museum of Art, SC Archives & History Center, SC State Art Collection, and the SC State Museum.
He has exhibited his baskets at the Smithsonian Craft Show, Philadelphia Craft Show, ACC Atlanta Craft Show, ACC Charlotte Craft Show, SOFA New York, SOFA Chicago and have been included in numerous print publications. In 2013, his work was included in Tradition/Innovation: American Masterpieces of Southern Craft & Traditional Art, an exhibition that toured the southeastern US for six years. He is the recipient of the SC Arts Commission’s Craft Fellowship for 2022, an award he also received in 1988. With AS, BAIS, and MLIS degrees from USC, he lives in Columbia. His work is available at Blue Spiral 1 Gallery in Asheville, NC, his Etsy shop (PineneedlebasketsCB), and via the CONTACT page.