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Julie Ottesen

Julie Ottesen making a basket

Julie Ottesen

In memoriam

Belle Port Baskets, Belhaven and Traphill, North Carolina

To honor the late Julie Ottesen, for every purchase of her baskets of $150 or more, 10% of the proceeds will be donated to Trees for a Change.

Featured products

  • holiday ornament 2021

    Holiday bell woven basket hanging ornament

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  • pine cone basket

    Pine cone wire handle basket

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  • Guest towel basket

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  • Fruit basket

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  • Storage or waste basket

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  • 2.5” Nantucket basket (squared handle)

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  • 3.5” Nantucket basket (rounded handle)

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  • 4” Nantucket basket (rounded handle)

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  • 4” Nantucket basket (rounded handle)

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  • 4” Nantucket Basket - Squared Handle

    4” Nantucket basket (squared handle)

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  • 5” Nantucket basket (no lid)

    5” Nantucket basket (no lid)

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  • 7” nantucket basket with cane stakes

    7” Nantucket basket with cane stakes

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  • 7” Nantucket basket with cherry wood stakes

    7” Nantucket basket with cherry wood stakes

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  • 15” Nantucket tray basket

    15” Nantucket tray basket

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  • Potpourri basket

    Nantucket potpourri basket

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  • Evening purse basket

    Nantucket evening purse

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  • Lacewood shoulder purse basket

    Lacewood shoulder purse

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  • Nantucket visiting basket

    Nantucket visiting basket

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  • Traditional Nantucket purse

    Traditional Nantucket purse

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About Julie Ottesen

Shortly after moving to North Carolina in 1987 and building her dream home on Pungo Creek, Julie became fascinated with how baskets could be crafted for a variety of purposes. After immersing herself in the basket-making traditions of the United States through the North Carolina Basket Association, she received a grant to study with Connie and Tom McColley, the renowned Weavers of Wood from West Virginia, where she learned to select her sapling tree, split the wood, hand carve the handle and make her own stakes and caning to create a basket on her own from nature. She also received a grant to study Nantucket Basketry with a very well known Nantucket artist. She also was invited to become a member of The Southern Highlands Craft Guild. Julie—one of the first artisans to join NC Handmade—passed away on October 9, 2021.

Julie has exhibited with The Raleigh Womens Fine Arts Council at Meredith College, Raleigh, NC; Kirkland Art Center, Clinton, NY; Mattamuskeet Swan Days, Mattamuskeet, NC; Albemarle Craftsman’s Guild, Elizabeth City, NC; Bank of the Arts, Craven Arts Council & Gallery, New Bern, NC; Beaufort Arts Council, Washington, NC; Yadkin Valley Craft Guild, Elkin, NC; Wilkes Art Gallery, Wtilkesboro, NC and Southern Highlands Craft Show, Asheville, NC.

The artisan's process

Julie’s specialty was Nantucket basketry. Traditionally these are wood-bottomed baskets that are painstakingly woven on wood or cane stakes around a mold. It is a labor intensive process and can take two to four months to complete. The beauty of this style basket comes from the perfection in construction, weaving and finish. Her pieces range in size and detail, from tiny 2.5” baskets to purses with woven or wooden lids and scrimshaw detailing. These heirloom quality pieces become darker and more beautiful with age.

Interested in becoming an NC Handmade artisan?

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