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 1960's 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.