Anne Scarpa McCauley began making honeysuckle baskets as a girl while out tending
goats.

Born in Windsor, Vermont, she moved with her family at age four to the foothills of the
Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. One of eleven children, her family, early hippies,
raised dairy goats along with other animals. From the age of six, Anne often had the job
of taking the herd of about twenty-seven goats to better browsing areas on the large
unfenced parts of the property. There were fields, woods, brooks, and thicket areas
where honeysuckle grew abundantly. The goats loved the bitter taste of the
honeysuckle leaves and often she and the goats would run together to places where it
grew best. While the goats were feasting on the leaves, Anne sometimes made little
circles or wreaths for her hair with the nearby honeysuckle vines.

One day, she decided to make a basket with the long honeysuckle vines. At age twelve
she made a little basket with her own pattern. It is the same pattern she uses for all her
baskets. Anne made more baskets and began to sell them alongside her family’s
woodcrafts at shows. They sold well and began to receive many compliments and
awards.  Later Anne exhibited at art shows on her own, and soon the baskets were also
in fine shops and art galleries.
 
While a teenager, she taught her basket making to students at a local high school and later gave a demonstration to a local
women’s auxiliary.  She has also given demonstrations at her children’s school.

Soon after making her first basket, Anne saw a majestic and vivid picture in her mind of a beautiful vase. It has been her main guide
and inspiration for all the thousands of baskets she has since made. From the beginning, her ultimate goal has been to be able to
make that vase.
   
Anne has never taken lessons, read books, or talked with other basket makers for ideas on making
baskets. Anne received no schooling. She did studying on her own, mostly while out with the goats - the
young goats often staying nearby or sleeping in her lap. Later, at age nineteen, she received her GED
diploma.

She lives outside Charlottesville, Virginia, a Piedmont region with beautiful mountains, valleys and
hillsides where honeysuckle loves to grow.
 
Anne is grateful to the wonderful local people who have continued to let her pick their honeysuckle, while also enjoying the fresh air
in the fields and foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
 
 
 
 
 
Anne Scarpa McCauley
anne@honeysucklebaskets.com
(434) 978-4679
website created and managed by the McCauley's
with photography by the McCauley's and Steve Hutchinson
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