Clara Charlie learned basketweaving as a child from her grandmother at Table Mountain Rancheria in Fresno County. Today, she is well known for her cradleboards, which grandmothers traditionally make for their grandbabies. Clara is committed to maintaining traditional basketmaking by sharing her knowledge and expertise with other interested Native Americans. Over the years, she has given free classes, demonstrations, and presentations in schools and community centers throughout the Central Valley, usually without monetary compensation and with little institutional support. She has much to share about when and where to gather plant materials, how to prepare them, and about how to weave.
In 2001, Clara was a master artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program with apprentice Jennifer Malone. The apprenticeship focused on building on Jennifer’s knowledge of cradleboards and teaching her about other baskets.