Yesterday I received in the mail the newly-published Plaited Basketry with Birch Bark by Vladimir Yarish, Flo Hoppe, and Jim Widess. I congratulate Sterling Publishers as well as the authors for a superbly handsome, wonderfully informative volume that makes a tremendous contribution to the craft community.
Included are comprehensive chapters on birch-bark craft history and techniques with excellent process photography throughout. These first five chapters are followed by easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions on weaving technique followed by eighteen appealing projects complete with detailed instructions.
Finally, the concluding section of the book features a gallery of plaited baskets by a numerous basket makers. This is icing on the cake.
My assessment of whether a book is a success is summed up in three words: Does it inspire? Yes, indeedy. This book succeeds on all accounts: super sharp photography (with photos large enough you can actually see what’s going on), clear and informative writing, great do-able projects, and pages and pages of compelling plaited baskets.
A final note (and full disclosure): I’d say all of the above even if I didn’t have the honor and delight of having some of my very own baskets included on pages 246-247.