It’s willow time!
Nick LaHaise joins us on the podcast to discuss willow basket weaving. He’s been teaching at several of the traditional skills gatherings for a few years and is co-founder of the Hearth Folk School where he teaches a willow weaving class among others.
Nick became introduced to traditional skills and handcraft as an adult when he became interested in permaculture, and discovered a passion when he tried his hand at weaving while attending a traditional skills gathering. We both highly recommend skills gatherings and suggest checking out any that happen to be in your area– a link to a few in the western U.S are listed in the resource section at the bottom of this page.
As far as basketry goes, among other things we discuss: harvesting your willow– what to look for and when, drying the willow, soaking to rehydrate, mellowing, weaving the base, turning the spokes and going vertical, Nick’s suggested weaves for a beginner, splicing new weaver willows in, shaping the basket, finishing off the weavers, weaving the border, and adding a handle.
Resources Mentioned in the Episode
Saskatoon Circle– https://www.saskatooncircle.com/
North House Folk School– https://northhouse.org/
Hearth Folk School– https://hearthfolkschool.com/ (Nick’s school!)
Handmade Baskets— by Susie Vaughan
Willow Basketry— by Jonathan Ridgeon
Willow— by Jenny Crisp
Basketmaking in Ireland— Joe Hogan
I also found this youtube video that shows how to do the 3 strand wale we discussed using.