Nancy Lutes

Nancy grew up in Pasadena, Ca. where she began her art training. She attended Northern Arizona University studying art and physiology.  Returning home to continue study at Art Center College of Design and Creative Arts Group in Sierra Madre.

As a life long animal lover, Nancy studied to become a California State Humane Officer in 1974. As the first woman to have the job, she investigated animal cruelty cases for Pasadena Humane Society.  Finding a newborn raccoon lead to 30 years of rehabilitation and relocation of orphaned wildlife.  

In 1981, she opened an art studio in Sierra Madre specializing in calligraphy and medical illustration.  Working with neurosurgeons at Huntington Hospital she illustrated surgeries and techniques for professional journals and books.

In 2007, Nancy moved from Sierra Madre to Lake Arrowhead.  Spending weekends and summers as a young girl enjoying the San Moritz Club in Lake Gregory, she always knew she would come back.  Shortly after moving to her new home she discovered an article about pine needle baskets.  Her interest grew to passion while learning where and when to gather pine needles, sorting and cleaning, dying and designing her baskets.  Before beginning a new basket Nancy sketches the shape, color, and design.  Always looking locally for interesting additions and embellishments, she uses found objects, gathers fallen branches and natural elements to make her baskets unique and one of a kind. She also takes special orders for baskets.  She enjoys designing a special basket that could become a treasured family heirloom.

Mike Ambs

I love to film things, tell stories, and read on the subway. I'm pretty sure blue whales are my power animal.