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Basket Week 2022

Basket Week 2022 was a success. A glorious time was had by so many basket weavers. Whew! Serious fun and super happy students. Basket week is unfortunately not happening in 2023 due to conflicts with instructor schedules. In its place, North House will be hosting the inaugural “Hide Week”!

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Join us for a gathering of basket-makers, both advanced and aspiring! Basketry embodies the soul of traditional craft: simple tools, natural materials and skilled hands result in purposeful, beautiful items. Birch bark, spruce root, pine needles, black ash-- the northern forest has been generous to basketmakers, and we’ll explore a variety of techniques and forms.

View the 2022 Basket Week handout

Event Details

Basket Week features multi-day coursework, offered October 4-11. On Friday, October 7, we will host the Basket Gathering Day (see schedule below). Students are invited to plan their trips around participating in this special benefit.

This year’s Featured Guest Instructor is Steen Madsen, acclaimed weaver and historical basketry expert visiting us from Denmark. Steen will offer two willow work courses during Basket Week and give a presentation on October 7.

Basket Gathering Day 

Friday, October 7, 2022

Talks and demonstrations are free for the public; mini course enrollment limited to students in Basket Week courses. Any open mini-course seats will be made available to the general public Thursday Oct 6. 

Untangling the Story of the Knutkorg, the ‘Knot Basket’ with Jane Laurence

9:00am, Blue Building

Jane Laurence spent months studying and unraveling the story of these mysterious baskets. Made in Duluth in the 1930-50s but sold up the Gunflint Trail as tourist tsotchkes, these knot baskets were once made on a large scale in pockets of Sweden and Norway in the mid 1800’s - to early 1900’s. Vesterheim Norwegian Museum in Decorah, Iowa, has six examples in their collection, all brought by immigrants from Scandinavia. But there is very little indication that this style of basket was ever widely made in Minnesota (or anywhere in North America). So how did this little group of marginalized Finnish loggers and miners, ‘inmates’ of the Poor House (as they were known), come to be such masterful makers of a style of basket that was all but unknown in their adopted home? Jane will regale us with tales of her recent trip to Sweden and Finland to trace the story of this beautiful tradition. 

Historical Baskets Through the Ages with Steen Madsen

10:30am, Blue Building

Guest instructor Steen Madsen is a renowned historian and raconteur about European basket traditions. He’ll share images and a smattering of stories dating back to 8,000 B.C., up through the 1960s when basket making was almost lost, a window into his decades of research into the human passion for weaving things to carry other things. 

Basket Show & Share Lunch

12:30-1:30pm, Blue Building

Basket Show & Share and Brown Bag lunch, so plan to pack a lunch or pick up something nearby and bring a basket to share with the group. It could be something you are making or something intruiging for others to see. 

Mini Courses


Students enrolled in courses offered during Basket Week will be able to enroll in a two hour mini course. Topics  include birch bark knife sheaths, waddles, bark etching, tiny baskets,  willow skills, and more. Registration materials provided via email Tuition-free for enrolled students; materials fee will vary. 

• Willow Skills with Steen Madsen, Red Building
• Birch Bark Etching with Greg Biskakone Johnson, Blue Building
• Birch Bark Knife Sheaths with Beth Homa Kraus, Green Building
• Teeny Tiny Baskets with Emily Derke, Milling Shop

Demonstration: Wattle Weaving with Paula Sundet Wolf


Stop by campus for a demonstration of wattle weaving, a natural and fun way to create a fence or trellis in the garden.   Outdoors, weather permitting.  Indoor location: Blacksmith Shop

Wood-Fired Pizza Bake Potluck


The oven will be hot and the dough will be ready! We’ll have sauce and cheese, you bring your favorite topping to add to the smorgasbord. Delicious fun for everyone; BYOB. 


We’ll host a variety of evening activities and gatherings open to the public during Basket Week.

Wednesday, October, 7:00pm Basket Film Watch Party hosted by Emily Derke

Believe it or not, You Tube is a treasure trove of weaving inspiration. Emily and others will share some of their favorites! 

Thursday, October 6, 7:00pm Community Craft Night: Basket Repair

Our monthly drop-in and craft together night focuses on basket repair. Instructors April Stone and Beth Kraus will consult with anyone on how you might undertake a repair. Bring your baskets in need of care, or any other project you’d like to work on.  

Friday, October 7, 5:30pm Wood-Fired Pizza Bake Potluck

The oven will be hot and the dough will be ready! We’ll have sauce and cheese, you bring your favorite topping to add to the smorgasbord. Delicious fun for everyone; BYOB. 

Saturday, October 8, 7:00pm Basket Film Watch Party, Version 2

Latest Update: View recent changes →

Course Offerings

Woven Birch Bark Basketry

Tue, Oct 4th, 2022  –  Thu, Oct 6th, 2022
Day 1: 3-6pm, Days 2-3: 9am-5pm
Instructor: Emily Derke

Crafting the Traditional Stake & Strand Willow Basket

Tue, Oct 4th, 2022  –  Thu, Oct 6th, 2022
Day 1: 3-6pm; Days 2-3: 9am-5pm
Instructors: Lindsay Lee, Lee Zieke

Advanced Willow Basketry: Rectangles and Fitching

Tue, Oct 4th, 2022  –  Thu, Oct 6th, 2022
Instructor: Steen Madsen

Black Ash Basketry Sampler: From Log to Rim

Thu, Oct 6th, 2022
Instructor: Beth Homa Kraus

Sweetgrass Basketry

Sat, Oct 8th, 2022  –  Sun, Oct 9th, 2022
9am-5pm each day
Instructor: Teri Smith

Pine Needle Basketry

Sat, Oct 8th, 2022  –  Sun, Oct 9th, 2022
9am-4pm each day
Instructor: Paula Sundet Wolf

Willow Exploration Extravaganza

Sat, Oct 8th, 2022  –  Tue, Oct 11th, 2022
9am-5pm each day
Instructor: Steen Madsen

Winter Birch Bark Folded Baskets

Sat, Oct 8th, 2022  –  Mon, Oct 10th, 2022
9am-5pm each day