Picture courtesy of hearthfolkschool.com

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

Gatherings:

Saskatoon Circle– https://www.saskatooncircle.com/

Buckeye– https://buckeyegathering.net/

Acorn– https://acorngathering.com/

Rabbitstick– https://www.rabbitstick.com/

Wintercount– https://wintercountcamp.com/

Folk Schools:

North House Folk School– https://northhouse.org/

Hearth Folk School– https://hearthfolkschool.com/ (Nick’s school!)

Books:

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.

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