Birch Bark Bread Basket
-Originally posted on Instagram on Feb 3, 2016
Last night we had our first real snow storm of the year. April and I had been trying to plan a night were we could sort some birch bark for weaving bread baking baskets. This was the perfect time. As the snow fell and over a glass of wine, we went through a big roll of bark we harvested this past summer. April had been after me to weave her a bread baking basket. So after the sorting we prepped some strips for weaving. Once we had enough, I wove this basket.
I’ve been working with birch bark for over 12 years and when working with it I’m still constantly in awe of its subtle feel, its flexibility and the many other great qualities. It’s no wonder why that in earlier times wherever in the world the birch trees grew, its bark had a very important place in the lives of the people living among them. The bark was used to make all kinds of things needed for daily living; from woven shoes, a multitude of different styles of canisters and baskets, and of course, the iconic birch bark canoe.
This basket is designed to bake bread in. It’s just a touch smaller than a regular loaf pan. Once it’s oiled and seasoned, kinda like a cast iron pan, it’ll be ready for baking in. The finished bread will have a nice woven imprint on the underside. I’m not sure if this type of basket has a history before bread pans or not, but I think it’s still pretty cool.