Birch Bark Baskets

Been really busy as of late. It's hard to find the time to sit a a computer and write, but I really need to put something up on this blog.  Here is something.  Birch Bark baskets, these are a really fun project for me. Gathering the materials in the spring before the bugs come out is really nice compared to early summer when I'm usually collecting bark and root.  This time of the year bark comes off the tree a little harder than normal but with patience it's really worth the effort.  This bark is called winter bark. It has a thin layer of the inner bark attached, which turns dark. Then designs can be scraped onto the surface by either taking away everything but the design(my favorite) or just scraping the design into the bark.  There are also some summer bark baskets in the photo, these are made from bark form last year.  These baskets are of the folded design. The bark is laid flat and the pattern is cut out, then splash some hot water on and fold it up.  After that sew it with split conifer roots. The rims are bend "green" meaning fresh cut birch wood shaped and bent over the knew. The rims are stiched on with black ash splint gathered from my wife April's pile of leftovers from her weaving. Fun stuff. Very ancient basket form.
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