Baskets Baskets

There’s been some baskets going on.

I got to hang out at the rather new Ely Folk School, teaching a black ash pack basket weaving class.  We had a full group, eight students.  The baskets all turned out great, and Mark Hansen told stories most of the time, including ones about Hans, the 80 year-old bachelor Norwegian immigrant basketmaker near Bigfork, MN, who lived with his brother Ole (they didn’t get along) in the 60s.  Hans broke his leg but never got it set.  So he hobbled around on the side of his foot, dragged ash logs out of the woods, pounded out the splints, and cranked out enough baskets over the years to buy himself a brand new Chevy Impala.

Ely baskets (2)

laura katie baskets (2)


To prepare for the class I made a couple new black ash pack baskets. I’m considering keeping one of them cause I like them, but haven’t made up my mind! Smaller one, which Emily is wearing in the photo, is 15.25″ tall with a 9.5″x9″ opening. Larger one is 17″ tall witha 10″x9″opening. I can make a cotton harness in brown, drab olive green, red, or blue. $210 for the smaller $225 for the larger including harness. Both are made from hand pounded black ash tree splints, which are then split for a clean, refined look. Rims and handles are carved green from hand-split black ash, and a length of twisted basswood inner bark cordage is tucked between the rims at the top. In terms of how many beavers you can carry in a basket this size, they are approximately one-beaver-baskets. Or many apples, or mushrooms, or anythings. I also made sure my laptop computer fits inside, so they are multi-functional. Send me a message if you’re interested!


new baskets (2)emily with basket (2)



We took a quick look around the yurt and discovered we had a crazy pile of baskets we’d made within arms reach.  After the picture we kept finding more of them tucked around.  Good times.

yurt baskets (2)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *