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Making Simple Traditional Baskets from Flat Reed

with Bliss McIntosh

This class is now full. A second session has been scheduled for July 10th. More information and registration now available.

Basket making is one of the oldest crafts. Here in the Northeast most baskets were made from either birchbark or ash splint.  The material we will use in this workshop mimics black ash splint though it is cut from the tropical rattan vine.

In this workshop, Bliss McIntosh will demonstrate both bark and ash splint baskets. Each participant will make either a square bottom, round top basket or a small oval wall basket, using flat reed, but working in the traditional style of black ash splint. This is the most basic of designs which can be refined or expanded to make any size or shape. The finished basket will have rims but not  a handle and will be suitable as a serving basket or a small “mailbox” shape. There will be baskets made from black ash, birch bark and elm bark on hand to examine. Participants should bring a pair of scissors, a tape measure, pencil, and several spring type clothes pins. Optional tools could include a carving knife, a small screwdriver and a spray bottle for water.

Appropriate for adults, teens, and adult-accompanied children ages 9 and older

About the Presenter:

Bliss McIntosh has been making baskets since 1977, using traditional hand pounded black ash and split and carved white ash as well as birch bark and other materials. She lives and works in her home town of Cambridge NY, combining basket work with gardening and music. Her work can be seen in the Valley Artisans Market in Cambridge and in the Bennington Museum Store.

Fees and Registration:

Bennington Museum Members: $20 + $10 materials fee ($30 total)
Not-Yet-Members: $25 + $10 materials fee ($35 total)

This workshop is limited to 15 participants. Please register by May 17 to reserve your place.
Participants are required to wear a face covering that covers the nose and mouth and social distance recommendations will be observed.