Plaited Basketry with Birch Bark

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.


Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company, Inc. was founded during the back-to-earth movement of the late 1960s and its accompanying craft resurgence. Their first loom was a simple tapestry loom, a version which they still make today. Over nearly 50 years, Schacht has developed a broad range of high-quality hand weaving and hand spinning tools, including their popular Cricket Loom and Ladybug Spinning wheel. Schacht’s mission is to create beautiful and well-designed products that enhance customers’ weaving and spinning experience through innovative problem solving, creative ideas, skilled woodworking and craftsmanship, and friendly, knowledgeable customer service. Schacht’s family-owned business is located in Boulder, Colorado.