Root Stitched Birch Bark Baskets


3 Session Course

Instructor: John Manthei

September 30 and October 7 & 8, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

In this class we will use spruce root to stitch together birch bark containers and attach fitted wood bottoms using wooden nails. These containers are relatively straight forward to make and lend themselves to experimenting with shape and size.

The first day of the class will be devoted to spruce root, natures gift of cordage. We will meet at The Folk School Workshop in the morning and carpool out a logging road to dig root together. You will learn best where to harvest spruce root, how to tell it from other root, how to dig it up without damaging it, and then how to care for it once you have it out of the ground. We will return to the workshop around mid day and prep the root for use in the next session. We will boil the root which makes peeling it much cleaner and easier, and then learn how to split and dimension it for use.

The following weekend we will design and make at least two containers. You will become familiar with some of the wondrous characteristics of root and learn about interesting stitching patterns as well as about manipulating birch bark and the use of awls. There will be woodworking involved in making the wooden bottoms and nails.

Root Stitched Birch Bark Baskets