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North House Folk School
North House Folk School

Weaving the Hand Bag Basket

This basket, made with black ash splint, is highly functional for everyday needs. It can appear rustic or refined. It can be filled with veggies from the market, groceries from the store, or binders and paperwork for meetings.  It can also be a perfect fit for in-between the bucket seats of most automobiles. The course will start with an in-depth discussion of the harvesting process, including log pounding and material storage.  From there, students will try their hand at splitting using two techniques: hands and a "splitting brake," followed by prepping our pre-selected raw materials using sharp knives, scissors and a slitting gauge. Participants will learn about twill and start/stop weaving, and tension and form as we lay-out and weave our baskets.  After drying, we will construct the rim system, prep thicker splint for handles, and finally, wrap the handles with choice splint. The finished basket will measure approximately 4" x 13" at the base, 9" x 16" at the opening, with a height of 11".  With handles attached, this brings the overall height of the basket to 17". Weighing in at just under a pound, it will be capable of carrying up to ten pounds quite comfortably. Note, this project requires some hand strength to complete.


New! Fri, Feb 17, 2017 - Sun, Feb 19, 2017
(Early bird tuition deadline: 01/06/17)

Course Details

Length in days:


$255.00 per student (Regular rate)
$225.00 per student (Early-bird rate)


Beginner to Advanced

* The Feb 17, 2017 course is part of the Northern Fiber Retreat event

Making it happen:
  • When should I enroll?
  • Do you take last minute registrations?
  • When will new course dates be posted?

You will need the following tools for this class:

  1. Sturdy scissors (Fiskars brand or comparable scissors for cutting splint)
  2. Small, carving or whittling knife (such as a Mora or other comparable knife) for some whittling
Both items are available for purchase at the North House School Store.

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation packet in the mail that may offer additional optional tool recommendations and suggested reading.
April Stonedahl April Stonedahl

April's fascination with Black Ash basketry started in 1998 when she took one year to study a new basket in everyday use. Amazed by this vessel's durability, she spent much of the following year learning by doing: learning through weaving. When ready, she went on to share her skills by providing demonstrations and workshops for a variety of groups, programs and events in her home, community, regionally and internationally.

More about April Stonedahl
Weaving the Hand Bag Basket

Weaving the Hand Bag Basket

Weaving the Hand Bag Basket