Neal Thomas - Carolina Country

Neal Thomas

This Wendell native has a talent for making baskets

Neal Thomas, of Wendell, is a basket maker. His medium is white oak, and he follows the wood throughout the entire process, cutting the trees and splitting the logs himself.

He picks trees by touch, drawing on 45 years of experience. Once split, he uses a sharp blade to deftly extract and shape strips of the oak to weave the basket. It’s a precision skill, one he learned in his 20s, from a man named Herman Holden. Now, he carries on the tradition, crafting the baskets and setting up shop at the NC farmers market where he’s been a regular for many years.

The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and the NC Arts Council are proud to bring this Carolina Creator to readers of Carolina Country.

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Comments (2)

  • Greatful to know and I would love to learn what is Mr Thomas locations ? Do he hold workshops for the public.

    Debbie |
    October 14, 2022 |

  • We had several readers ask where they can find baskets made by our Carolina Creator, Neal Thomas. You can typically find Neal at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh (Exit 297 off I-40; visit or call the farmers market at 919-733-7417 for more information).

    Carolina Country |
    October 21, 2022 |

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