STARVING NO MORE - Tom And Connie McColley Now Work For A Pay Check

Starving No More

How Tom and Connie McColley spent 25 years building a national artistic reputation, then gave it up for a steady paycheck

By Bob Schwarz Staff Writer
Sunday Gazette-Mail

CHLOE — Connie McColley's hands don't hurt so much now that she no longer weaves oak baskets. "I think it was harder on my hands and harder on his shoulders," she recalled.

The shoulders she refers to belong to husband Tom, who split the white oak his wife weaved.

During the roughly 25 years they made baskets, the McColleys raised a traditional craft to an art. The Museum of Arts & Design (formerly the American Craft Museum) in New York owns two of their baskets. The Smithsonian Institution in Washington has one, too.

When the McColleys came to West Virginia in 1972, they were among the first back-to-the-landers, the ones West Virginians took to calling "hippies."

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