Leon Niehues

Leon Niehues

“I usually refer to myself as a craft artist. Sometimes I am just a craftsman, but sometimes I’m an artist. I like to think that I can be both.”

Leon Niehues taught himself basket making as a way to support his family’s back-to-the-land lifestyle in rural Northwestern Arkansas. His baskets are made from the young white oak trees that surround his home in the Ozarks. While using traditional splint techniques, he has added innovative ideas, new construction methods, and simple design elements that dramatically change his oak baskets into exciting contemporary pieces. American Craft Magazine wrote of Niehues’s baskets, “These containers deceive the viewer. They seem primitive and modern, functional and decorative, intricate and simple all at once.”