Charlotte Carpenter

Basket Weaver

Port Alberni, B.C. • Nuu-Chah-Nulth

View all available artwork by Charlotte


Charlotte Carpenter has been weaving baskets for over 40 years and is a teacher of traditional basket weaving.  She uses the traditional weaving materials of bog (swamp) grass and cedar bark. 

Charlotte is originally from Bella Bella, BC. The village of Bella Bella, with a population of 1400, is located on Campbell Island, north of Vancouver Island and is home to the Heiltsuk First Nation. Charlotte married into the Toquaht Nation and lives on Vancouver Island in Port Alberni with her husband.

When Charlotte was a young woman she was intrigued by the art of weaving and spent many hours watching the late Emma and Mary McKay weave their baskets out of bog grass. She had to learn when and how to pick, cut, preserve, store, and dye the grasses before learning the techniques of basket weaving.

Traditional weaving molds are carved out of western red cedar by the weavers, in various shapes and sizes to suit the different purposes of each basket, and are passed down from generation to generation. Traditional dyes used to be made from natural materials such as pitch, cedar bark and berries. Current wicker dyes are used today having proved to be far more fade resistant and stable.

Charlotte collected her 'signature' designs from various teachers and has become a master weaver herself. You will find the history of her teachings incorporated into her intricately woven baskets.

Sea Lion - Cowichan; Salmon and Yellow Footed Duck from the late Mable Taylor of Tsheshaht; Deer, Sitting Duck and Flying Eagle from Amelia David & Jenny Cootes of Uchucklesaht; Whale, Canoe and Flying Duck from the late Mary and Emma McKay of Toquaht.

Artist Statement

"Traditional grass basket weaving is a dying art and I am trying to get 'new' interest in learning the art. Basket weaving puts me in touch with who I am and who has taught me to weave. I find great relaxation while weaving." - Charlotte Carpenter