Traditional Basketry & Weaving Apprenticeship – Fall Winter 2017-2018

FALL WINTER 2017-2018

Thank you for your interest! This class is full and we’ve started our apprenticeship for the season! 

Please check out my Winter Basketry Series– January – March in Classes & Events

The winter moons are the time of honing skills, passing on knowledge and preparing for the harvest seasons to come. Cultures around the world used the stillness of the ‘Cold Time’ to use the materials harvested throughout the seasonal rounds to create beautiful and functional baskets for the coming harvests and journeys. The winter moons are also the time of harvesting for many plants best harvested while dormant, the roots, withes and barks of willow, cedar, cherry, and more.

This apprenticeship program is in now in its third year and offers an opportunity to go further in-depth on basketry and weaving techniques than possible with day or weekend workshops.

This year we will be focusing on these areas:

  • Willow wicker baskets, bringing in some of the teachings I’ve learned from basketmakers in Spain and Ireland this last year for making the wonderful,  rustic and functional baskets of these cultures, from creels to criobs to market baskets. I experimented while in Ireland with ways to incorporate the Irish traditional weaves into more contemporary styles, which I’m looking forward to exploring further. I have a mix of locally harvested and commercially grown willow.
  • I was also able to sustainably, and ethically, harvest some beautiful basket sweet-grass this summer, and will be incorporating them into twined baskets with rush and cedar in the style of many of the tribes from the Olympic Peninsula
  • I am also excited to share some of the techniques and cultural elements of weaving with plant fiber and wool into the creation of Crios bands, taught to me by Mairead Sharry while visiting her on the Aran Island of Innisheer this October, and combining that knowledge with the techniques used to make the tumplines of the tribes of North America.
  • Processing and weaving with flax- we have access to a considerable amount of locally grown flax grown for fiber and will be exploring traditional techniques for retting and processing this fiber used extensively around the world for weaving, a skill very few people still practice.

This is a mentorship with Heidi Bohan, master weaver, ethnobotanist and author/illustrator of ‘The People of Cascadia’, with over 20 years of experience and training under some of the premier master basketmaker’s of our time, each well-known in the techniques and basketry traditions we will cover. We will focus on the traditional baskets and weavings of the Pacific Northwest and Ireland, covering the major techniques, embellishments and styles using wild-crafted native plant materials. Heidi continues to expand her knowledge and skills, now making sojourns to Ireland and Spain working with traditional basket-makers of these regions, bringing this knowledge home to share with her students.

Where? Join us here in the Snoqualmie Valley at the historic Hjertoos House Studio, a former carriage house, to create these baskets. From here we travel to gathering grounds and visit with cultural knowledge keepers and experts. We are an easy and scenic 35 minute drive from Seattle, 20 from Issaquah, 15  from Redmond.

How often? We will have classes on one Friday from 1-7PM & Saturday 10-4PM once per month, November through March (third Friday/Sat, with the exception of November- one week earlier), with optional followup studio time to continue to work on your baskets, time and day decided by consensus after each class. We will also schedule as seasonal opportunity allows for research and harvest expeditions. These may occur on weekdays or weekends and are optional, with every effort made to include each apprentice over the season.

Class Dates November 10&11; December 15&16; January 19&20; February 16&17; March 16&17; with additional Gathering, Research & Project Night dates (TBD based on participant schedules).

What can you expect? You will learn harvest timing and techniques, processing and storage of plant materials, and preparation of materials from wild-crafted plants. And you will learn a variety of core and advanced techniques to create fine traditional styled baskets and weavings. You will take home a variety of finished projects which you have designed and created from materials you have processed and prepared for your baskets.

What experience is needed? This program requires some experience making baskets (or other hands-skills) enough to know you like it!  Ideally that you love it!  You do not need to be accomplished, or even all that confident, but know enough to accept that there is a learning curve and be willing to jump in! All classes will be scaled to various skill levels.

What will we create? Baskets from willow, red cedar, rush and cattail, and other native and wild foraged materials; natural dyes and wild harvested materials to use to ornament these baskets; weaving from wool and other fibers to create bags, baskets, sraps and more.

Class fee: $950.00

Deposit $250 to hold a spot and I will contact you to get more information, fully refundable up to October 15, 2017
Paypal: Buy Now Button  (you don’t need an account, just a credit card)  or contact me for other payment options.

Hjetoos House StudioWillow at studioweb Studio september 2Classes are based out of Carnation, Washington in the heart of the Snoqualmie Valley, at the historic Hjertoos House with a studio and outdoor classroom spaces and lots of nearby trails, natural and cultural areas. There are possible overnight accommodations available at Carnation Tree Farm Barn Loft, Tolt McDonald Park yurts, local AirBnB’s, and others by arrangement.

Some of my teachers:
Lisa Telford
Lisa Telford, Haida, my former sister-in-law, trained under her Auntie, Delores Churchill and now an internationally known Haida basketmaker with work in the Smithsonian, Heard, Burke and numerous other museums. She took me under her wing when I was first learning baskets, and showed me  Haida style cedar bark twined baskets, with the introduction of dyed twined patterns, cedar bark hats, cross warp twined cedar baskets and more. It is from her that I also learned traditional harvesting, processing and selection techniques for cedar bark.

Pat Courtney Gold
Pat Courtney Gold, Warm Springs/Wasco, specializes in twined Columbia River baskets, and is regionally and nationally recognized for her work in revitalizing Wasco/Wishram and other Columbia style baskets. I worked with her making cattail twined, open weave baskets and twined cylindrical baskets

Nettie Jackson
Nettie Jackson, Colville, (now passed on) renowned for her preservation of the techniques and creation of coiled and imbricated cedar root baskets housed in museums throughout the region. I had the rare opportunity to work with her for four days learning these techniques from her to make my first cedar root basket. it is from her that I primarily learned about proper harvest and processing of cedar root.

Eva Boydd
Eva Boyd, Flathead Salish, specializes in the full-turn twined sally baskets. Originally made from dogbane hemp, I was able to work with her sharing what I’ve learned about making dogbane hemp cordage while she showed me the techniques to start, twine and finish these strong, flexible baskets.


Cheryl Samuel, master weaver- ‘internationally acclaimed weaver, researcher, author and teacher, will forever be associated with the revival of Ravenstail weaving on the Pacific Northwest Coast’ I hosted her to teach my classes in the 90’s and spent many hours learning from her as she stayed  as a guest in my home.

Basketry Joe hogan with big round basket good
Joe Hogan- Willow basketmaker- 2015 weeklong apprenticeship course, 2017 three day followup course, in the Connemara region of Ireland learning the traditional Irish creel and other techniques,

Crios Mairead and Heidi

Mairead Sharry- Weaver from the Aran Islands, Innisheer, Ireland. She is one of the few people still making and teaching about weaving the Crios (kris) sashes, and I felt extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from her.

Other teachers include  Rodney Cawston- Colville- twined cylindrical baskets; Rodrick Owen- Peruvian headbands; Laverne Waddington- Bolivian backstrap weaving

Contact: Heidi 425-549-0093;; PO Box 141, Carnation, WA 98014


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