Wow. That is a nice backpack. Well, let’s back up a little bit. Would you believe this is one of the finished products of a first time basket weaver? In just two days our instructor, Karen Sherwood, of Earthwalk Northwest, guided students through the fundamentals of splint-woven basketry construction, as we learned how hard it really is to control shape, and what goes in to the finishing touches of making a pack-basket with beauty and utility in mind.
Karen Sherwood has a wonderful way of demonstrating every step of the process, with explanations, so students had lots of opportunites to ask questions before getting into the knitty-gritty of the project.
For us in the Pacific Northwest, temperatures of upper 80’s to lower 90’s, can make some of us melt. Yes, I know that makes me a heat-wimp, but luckily the Fiber Arts studio at the Bainbridge Artisans Resource Network , or BARN, as we like to call it, was designed to catch the cross-breeze, with late afternoon shade just outside our doors by the dye garden.
By the end of day one, everyone had worked incredibly hard. Some students, at least me, had discovered new muscles, and judging by their soreness I guess I hadn’t used them for a while.
We happened to be at BARN on the day of a member appreciation dinner. The Suquamish Tribe had donated the freshest of Salmon for it, and members of the Board of Directors of BARN cooked it to perfection. As I enjoyed this dinner with Karen, I was reminded of how grateful I am for this community of volunteers that have worked tireless for at least a decade to bring this beautiful facility into the world. Here is a place where creative people who have a life-time of practical knowledge to share, and those who wish to learn how to do more for themselves and others, can come together as a community and nurture each other.
Karen Sherwood patiently guided everyone through two days of intensive “learning by doing”. All students left with a beautiful finished Back-pack basket. I wish to thank all the Fiber Arts volunteers for inviting this wonderful teacher, and all the students who made this workshop possible. Especially we thank Karen Sherwood for generously sharing her vast ethnobotanical knowledge with us.
Next workshop is with Polly Adams Sutton, who is one of the most amazing Cedar Bark Weavers I know. She teaches across the US and Canada a contemporary way of using the inner bark of the Western Red Cedar and artistic bead wire to create unique and quite artful basketry forms. Here are the links to her one day, and two day workshops at BARN, August 10, 11, & 12, 2018.