In this in-depth basketry course, we’ll explore the range of materials found in Northern Minnesota that can be used for making baskets. Birch, basswood, spruce, cedar, willow, and ash are some of the local species with ties to basketry. Get a taste of working with different materials as you create a collection of three to four baskets while learning a variety of styles and traditions. As part of this class, we will venture out to the woods for a few harvest demonstrations and discussion of harvest ethics. Learn to prepare materials, decipher what works and doesn’t work for different types of baskets, and dig into plant identification in the Northwoods. We will be plaiting birch bark, making string out of bark, twining with willow rods, and stitching with spruce roots as we learn about the traditions, people, and places that have been creating useful vessels with local plant material throughout history. Baskets are infinitely useful and are a great way to work with your hands, get to know the local environment, and learn about the process of making something from start to finish. Come prepared for physical hand work and a few field trips to the woods.
There will be some time spent in the woods, so please bring appropriate footwear and anything you might need to be comfortable if it is sunny, buggy, rainy, windy or otherwise.
If you have your own tools you wish to use, please bring: