Traditional Basketry & Weaving Apprenticeship – Fall Winter 2019-2020



FALL WINTER 2019-2020

Join us for our fifth year of this program!

Dates: Nov 9 & 10; Dec 14 & 15; Jan 11 & 12; Feb 8 & 9; March 14 & 15

Saturdays 1-7:00; Sundays 10-4:00; Some optional field trips Saturday AM or Fridays. This schedule allows people to travel from a distance and spend the night nearby, for a full weekend experience. It also allows possible Saturday morning harvest opportunities.

Location: Fall City, WA  Scholars Garden Studio 

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 fourth year and offers an opportunity to go further in-depth on basketry and weaving techniques than possible with day or weekend workshops. This course is designed ideally for people who have some experience with basketry or other hand skills, though I’ve successfully included beginning basketmakers as well.

Last year we focused on these areas:

  • Inspired by visits to Irish weavers, and the recent Fibers of our Land exhibit at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC we will be working with wool and plant fiber projects. Wool is an often-overlooked traditional material here in the PNW, yet was a core cultural resource, obtained from ‘wool’ dogs, mountain goat, and plant fibers. We will work with dogbane hemp, nettle, wool and feather in our projects.
  • Wicker willow baskets incorporating new (for us) techniques of ribbing and Irish knot weave in the form of pack harvest baskets. I’ve had many new teachers of the last few years including two weeklong workshops with Joe Hogan in Ireland and traditional Spanish willow weavers in the mountains of Northern Spain and love to share what I’ve learned from them.
  • Cedar bark baskets- these can be tailored to individual experience, with a focus on more advanced twine, overlay, and other techniques.
  • Cedar root- We will harvest and process roots into finished open warp baskets, one of our favorite projects last year.
  • Cattail, rush and sweetgrass baskets, following the traditions of the Pacific Northwest and European cultures. Focus projects will be flat bags, ‘purses’ and harvest/ tool baskets, with cross warp and open weaves.
  • Pine needle basketry if time and interest allows.

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 me at my studio space in the Scholars Garden, an oasis along the Raging River in Fall City, and easy 30 minute drive off of I-90 from Seattle: near Issaquah, Bellevue, Redmond.

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, wall hangings 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, 2018.

Paypal: Buy Now Button  (you don’t need an account, just a credit card)  or contact me for other payment options.

Full payment due on first day of class, November 9th.

Questions?  Feel free to contact me with questions! I am best reached by email, and we can follow up with a phone call if needed.

Some of my teachers:

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; Lisa Telford, former sister-in-law, Haida basketmaker;  Rodney Cawston- Colville- twined cylindrical baskets; Rodrick Owen- Peruvian headbands; Laverne Waddington- Bolivian backstrap weaving

Contact: Heidi 425-549-0093;; PO Box 323, Shelton, WA 98584


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s