In this 8 month journey you will...
- Gain a well rounded understanding of the basic basketry techniques: twining, plaiting, coiling, ribbed basketry, twined bags, cordage, and more.
- Work with a variety of materials, including grapevines, honeysuckle, wisteria, white pine bark, inner tree bark (ash, tulip tree, red maple, elm, etc.), cattails, grasses, iris leaves, dogbane, nettle, basswood fiber, willow, red osier dogwood, spruce root, and more depending on availability.
- Get hands on experience identifying, finding, harvesting, preparing, and processing these local plant materials out in the field.
- Receive expert guidance as you make a multitude of baskets.
- Explore the deeper meanings of working with plants and basketry through readings and discussion
- Be a part of a community as we walk in the footsteps of our ancestors and harvest gratefully from the earth to make one of the most culturally meaningful objects in history: the basket.
Example Course Schedule
Is this program right for you?
Every year there is at least one person who signs up for this program and finds that they need to drop out. It is a big commitment both time-wise and financially to dedicate one day a month to basketry and I want to be sure those who sign up have a good idea of how it will fit into their schedule. Take a look at the dates and your life and ask yourself if you really will have the time and energy to make it to class. In the past most folks that drop out have done so because they over-scheduled, or perhaps underestimated the drive if they are coming from a distance. However, I also have had many people driving from over 3 or 4 hours away and not missing a class! Also- this is the only class I am teaching this year to new students and I’m sure I’ll have a waitlist to get in- if you suspect you may have to drop out please consider waiting until next year so another student can take your spot.
If you read this and want to talk to me about your situation then please don’t hesitate to reach out. I am only writing this message because I don’t offer refunds after a certain point and want to support folks in their decision to join the class.
Getting out in nature: hands on harvesting
During this workshop you will learn how to weave baskets. But equally as important and rewarding you will get experience actually harvesting and processing plants. Most of our focus will be on weaving, but on a few class days we will be in the field processing materials. This means we will be spending time out in nature pulling vines out of trees and walking in marshes to harvest cattails. There may be hot weather, mosquitos, and walking in the forest. If you have any physical restrictions, injuries or anticipate any difficulty in the more physically demanding aspects of the experience then let me know before signing up. There are many aspect to harvesting and if you are unable to wrestle grapevines out of trees then it is equally as valuable to help coil and process them. However, you should be prepared to spend the entire day outside. Feel free to contact me with any questions about this part of the workshop.
What does it look like to spend a day weaving?
To see some examples of baskets and student experiences from the 2017 and 2018 programs check out the blog posts below or visit my current/past workshops page. There is such an amazing array of students that take my classes and I’m always impressed with the creativity and individuality that comes out when a person sits down and allows themselves the time to make something beautiful with their hands.