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Woven Birch Bark Backpack

Course Overview

This is the granddaddy of woven birch bark projects: the beautiful, functional birch bark backpack. The course will begin with an introduction to sustainable techniques for legal harvest. Students will then use hand tools to prepare the provided bark strips and then weave them into a backpack, measuring roughly 9"-10" x 11"-12", depending on material selections. Students will choose from two designs: either a birch bark base with a hand-stitched leather flap, pocket and straps, or a slightly smaller, all-birch pack with a bark flap and leather straps. All backpacks will be woven using the diagonal plaited pattern. This project uses fresh bark, which has a surprisingly different feel than working with older bark. Because of the quantity and quality of the bark needed for this project, it will only be offered once per year in a small class setting. Although no prior weaving skills are necessary for this class, all students will be expected to process their own weavers, which requires good hand dexterity. Some experience working with your hands is helpful. Most students have found this class to be harder than expected.

This course will be part of Basket Week 2019! Plan to arrive a day early for the Basket Gathering on Friday, October 25 for demonstrations, talks and community gatherings.

See Basket Week details here


Sat, Oct 26th, 2019  –  Tue, Oct 29th, 2019

Course Details

Length: 4 Days
Skill Levels: Intermediate to Advanced
Hours: 9am-5pm
Intergenerational age: N/A
Registration Cost: $380.00
Additional materials fee paid to instructor when class starts: Varies ($160-$200)

Required Tools

You will need the following tools for this class:

  • clothes pins
  • slojd knife
  • straight edge
  • favorite pair of scissors

Optional Tools

If students have their own leather, waxed canvas, or other heavy cloth, we can fit those to their backpack. As well as any buckles, buttons, closures, toggles, heavy duty waxed thread of prefered color.
Otherwise I will have a select number of options for the students to use. The materials fee can be adjusted accordingly - $160 is the base cost any additional leather and hardware used will be sold at cost during the class.

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.