Pacific Northwest landscapes are home to a wealth of native and introduced plants known to have rich histories of fiber use by the First Peoples of the region. “Long Life Maker”, is just one of many names the Western Red Cedar tree has been called by the Salish Peoples. Students will learn why, as they are introduced to a multitude of uses gleaned from this generous tree. Melinda West will bring a freshly cut cedar tree to class on Saturday, so students can learn all aspects of what it means to peal their own pieces of bark. The class project is a folded Cedar bark pouch which Ed Carriere, Suquamish Elder and Master Weaver, taught Melinda to make, and has given his blessing for her to teach. This style container has been employed by many indigenous cultures around the world; all who have a tradition of utilizing the plant materials at hand to make useful and beautiful objects. Students will learn basic techniques for gathering, preparing, storing and weaving with all parts of the Western Red Cedar as they are guided through the construction of the folded and sewn bark pouch, traditionally made in the Salish Sea region for gathering berries or holding implements. Bark removing, measuring, scoring, sewing, inner bark preparation, multiple flat braiding, and 4 strand round braiding, will be techniques students learn through the creation of their own beautiful pouches.
For more information or to sign up please go to the Bainbridge Artisans Resource Network website.