Lorraine Wieskamp

Board Member

I was born and raised in Australia, that “land down under,” and in 1967 decided it was time to spread my wings and see a bit of the world around me. Since then, I’ve worked in Papua New Guinea; London, Germany (for the US Air Force in Wiesbaden). After four and a half years in Wiesbaden (my initial contract was for one year!) I returned to Australia and began working for the Australian Government, first in the Post Graduate Student Administration of the Australian National University, before eventually joining the Australian Foreign Service. During the next ten years, I had postings in Paris, Beijing and finally Washington, DC where I met and married my husband Gene in 1987.

For the next eight yeas, I worked for INTELSAT (International Telecommunications and Satellite Organization) as an Administrative Assistant. INTELSAT needed to downsize, and a considerably large number of us were offered (and most us accepted!) an incredible Early Retirement Package in December of 1995. Gene, who worked for the Federal Government as the Manager of the Patent and Trademark Office Computer Center, retired in December of 1996.

In the early 90’s, I decided I needed a hobby to pursue during my non-working hours, and took up basket weaving. Eventually, I took over as the teacher for the Fiber Workshop where our classes were sponsored. I eventually persuaded Gene to become involved – he does wonderful woodwork, and though I still am allowed! to weave, he does considerably more of the actual preparation and finishing of our baskets than I do! In 1996, we were invited to Novgorad, Russia, to demonstrate the art of making Nantucket Baskets, and to participate in an international Cultural Festival. Later that same year, we were invited to teach in Australia, and taught four classes in three different states/locations. We no longer participate in shows, but have a wonderful web site from which we sell our products.

In 1998, after building a new home in Golden Hills Golf and Turf Club we moved to Ocala. Since then, we’ve expanded our basket business, specializing in making Nantucket Lightship baskets and have participated in numerous Fine Art Festivals throughout Florida, wining numerous awards for our work and building a reputation for our workmanship. I became involved in the Golden Hills Property Owners Association, and was Secretary for seven years.

I met Phil Davis while taking a course at (then) CFCC and he eventually persuaded me to purchase a MAC – I now have an iMac, an iPad, a MacBook Air and an iPhone! I love using all of them, but would be totally lost if it wasn’t for the great help and support I get from Phil. I am particularly interested in (but in a very amateurish way!) photography and trying to learning Photoshop Elements! (this ole dog finds it very hard to learn new tricks!)

Now that we are no longer doing shows, and I’m no longer involved in the POA, I volunteer in the office of our Church as a part-time receptionist and am involved in numerous activities associated with the Church.

Updated: 2016-04-18