Brown Ash: The Courtship

Brown Ash: my holy grail of basket-making materials. Not that it is or isn’t the best material (as if I’m qualified to opine on that point), but it certainly seemed the most daunting. In compiling my list of plants that I would try to learn about through basket-making, I included ash with the mental caveat that it was okay if … Read More

The Tiniest Pack Basket

I’ve been stubbornly resistant to making a pack basket. I have all of the brown ash splints, I’m weaving baskets, I have the intention of spending lots of time outside and often want to carry things with me, so why not a pack basket? I think exploring that question could very easily become a long essay stretching back into my early teens … Read More

Trout Lily Day!

There is a massive springtime display happening in the woods behind my house, and going into my fourth spring on this land, it hasn’t gotten any less exciting. Patience! The massive springtime display photo comes at the end of the post. This is the foreshadowing. It starts in mid-April with tiny red spears poking up underneath the leaf litter. This is … Read More

First Basket: Red Osier, Lilac, Virginia Creeper, Basswood, Wool

On a sunny and well-frozen day in early February, we learn to harvest red osier dogwood. Its color is stunning against the snow, and makes for a beautiful basket. Ray leads us to promising harvest spots, talking about the dogwood’s preferred habitat (open and sunny and wet). We fan out in search of long, straight, slender whips; a single year’s … Read More

Land as Collaborator

“My land.” Oh dear, this is going to be a problem. This land doesn’t belong to me in any truly meaningful sense. I’ve tried calling it “the land that I live on,” and variations thereof, but the phrasing is cumbersome and feels detached. So I’m going back to calling this “my land,” in the relationship-indicating sense that I would say … Read More

Saturday Morning Hide Tanning

I knew that hide tanning was one of the things we’d be learning this year as apprentices, but I didn’t really know what I was getting into. This was my cryptic to do list for Saturday morning (which I unfortunately left in the lunch room at the office on Friday, for the speculation of my colleagues). A day of decadent … Read More

Creating Ceremony, Reclaiming Traditions

Since joining the Wildwood Path as an apprentice, I look forward to each month’s emailed overview as much as I looked forward to opening my Christmas stocking as a child. This month’s invitation beckons: Join us as we build our relationships with the mysterious worlds: the ancestors, the fire, our own grief, and our capacity for transformation. The lengthening nights … Read More

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