Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cedar Bark Basketry- Kathey Ervin in Sequim Washington

 I'm home again after a marvelous weekend on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. I caught the Coho ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles on Saturday and drove to Kathey Ervin's Basketry Studio in Sequim  to participate in her Beginner's Cedar Bark Basket Class.
The Basketry Studio Classroom
The Olympic Mountains - Kathey's willow grove in the foreground
Kathey's classroom gallery was tantalizing inspiration as we settled in for the day's work
I LOVE this cedar bark basket- it took a year to cure after it was shaped.
Kathey's Classroom is fragrant with cedar and the walls are lined with shelves of her beautiful work as well as a generous supply of ready made kits that she offers for sale. Kathey is an enthusiastic and thoughtful teacher who stresses the importance of materials collection in the creation of baskets. We weren't able to trek into the bush to harvest cedar but we did watch two exceptional videos showing us how cedar and sweetgrass are harvested using traditional methods.
Kathey has bundles of prepared cedar available for sale


Kathey demonstrates splitting the strips of cedar
 


Kathey collects her own cedar bark from her local forests and log sorts as well as  taking an annual trip to Alaska to collect the coveted Alaskan yellow cedar which, when soaked after a year of drying feels like smooth strong and pliable leather.  We all learned to splice and slice the cedar bark to prepare the  spokes and weavers... 


The class was a fun group and we enjoyed a delicious potluck lunch, lots of laughter and a sense of accomplishment  at the end of the day! I look forward to heading to Sequim again- I highly recommend Kathey's classes!
Here is my second ever basket...




...once again it contains many mistakes as I learn but the good thing is that as I examine it I know how to approach the next one and the next one is not any "ordinary" task!
Kathey worked on a basket through the class and at the end of the day offered the partially completed piece in a raffle with the condition that the winner was responsible for completing the basket and -omg- I WON! So here is the basket as it awaits completion....


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