Basket making process
Black ash baskets have been traditionally made by Native Americans, who knew that pounding a black ash log provided strong strips for weaving. Although many basket makers use sawn ash, thereby reducing hand labor, strength and quality are sacrificed as sawing cuts across the grain.
The process includes pounding a log, which loosens and separates growth rings. The growth rings are then gauged, scraped, and sorted. Some of these strips are then split by hand and used in finer, more delicate baskets. This material is called satin because the inside of a growth ring is very smooth and satiny.
My baskets are made in two ways. Some are woven over solid forms, which produces baskets fairly consistent in size and shape. 62 or my forms came from Louis Paul, a Native American basket maker from New Brunswick. My husband Dave has also made a number of my forms. Free form baskets allow for more diversity of size and shape. No matter which method I use, each basket has its own uniqueness.