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Birch Bark Basketry: An Introduction

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Course Overview

Birch bark holds a multitude of uses, and has been widely used across the world wherever birch trees have grown for much longer than anyone can remember. Even now, it is a common material for making useful things that utilize the locally available materials. What can be done with birch bark?! Many, many kinds of baskets, watertight containers, canoes, footwear, net floats, net weights, backpacks, quivers, winnowing trays, moose calls, art, and so much more. In this class we’ll discuss the vast traditions of using birch bark through the creation of several different types of baskets.

Participants will complete two baskets- one that uses woven strips of bark, and one using a sheet of bark that will be folded and stitched together with spruce roots. Learn the basics of preparing bark for use, selecting the right bark for a project, and hear about the harvesting process. 

Required Tools

  • All required tools/materials are provided by your instructor and North House and will be available once the course begins.

Optional Tools

If you have your own tools you wish to use, please bring: 

  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Awl

Currently Scheduled Sessions