Check out the black ash baskets!

17 Feb

Last week, 18 adults and 350 youth participating in the Fiber Arts: Black Ash Baskets and Birchbark bitings workshops were immersed in a world of art and culture. Led by artist Kelly Church, participants created their own artistic baskets and birchbark bitings.

The bitings are a rare form of art that not many people know about. “It’s an old traditional art form that is trying to be reintroduced,” Church said. “Before I learned, there were only four people in the state that knew how to do them.” The bitings are made from peeling a piece of birchbark down to one layer, folding it (similar to making a paper snowflake), then biting on it. Church described it as “drawing with your teeth.” Historically, the bitings were done while telling stories or while picking berries.

The adult workshop participants also created a traditional black ash basket as well as a vinyl blind basket to show what future baskets may look like using manufactured materials if the black ash trees were no longer available.


Miigwetch (Thank you) to all of the Artist-in-Residence participants!


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