Chief Labrador
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The following pictures and descriptions are from the
Nova Scotia Basketry Guild's Workshops held over the over the past few years.
Black Maple Basket

Red-Maple Basket

April 2010 - In this 4 day workshop we wove a beautiful Red-Maple Basket in the Nova Scotia Black tradition with our Honorary Member Clara Clayton Gough from East Preston.  Having learned from her grandmother, aunties and mother, Clara showed us how to split and carve the saplings for the ribbed framework and then how to separate the growth rings for the weaving strips.  Clara is a great teacher and her classes are always a lot of fun!  This is a very special basketry technique which has its roots in the Black southern rice plantations of the 1800s.

May 2011 - We did this class again - Back by Popular Demand!

Red Osier Basket

Red Osier Dogwood Basket

On Saturday May 1st 2010 we gathered Red Osier Dogwood in the Windsor area and let the material dry for a few weeks before weaving.  Then we each made our own sweet-smelling Red Osier basket, either a small round Fruit or Bun Basket or a D-shaped Wall Basket for a hanging plant.  The class was taught by Guild Member Donna S.

In April 2011 we gathered Spring Withe to weave a week or two later. Spring in the Annapolis Valley is wonderful for basketmakers for the ditches are full of bright red withes of Red-osier Dogwood and bright yellow French Golden Willow.   

GregMcEwan hand pounded ash baskets

Mi'kmaq Hand-pounded Ash Baskets by Greg McEwan

September 2010 we wove our own 6x6x9” basket complete with carved rim and handle of hand-pounded Ash splint with Greg McEwan and Margaret from Bear River NS. We participated in the pounding of the ash to feel how the splints are created from this incredible tree. Listened to Mi’kmaq basket stories and heard of Greg and Margaret’s recent visit with HRH Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the Membertou 400 event in Halifax.

quill and birchbark

Mi'kmaq Quillwork

In October 2010 we learned the fascinating Mi’kmaq skill of working with porcupine quills on birchbark.  We created a decorative medallion which can be used for display, for a Christmas tree ornament or for the lid of a bark container – your imagination is the limit!  Cheryl had a table in the Farmer’s Market at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth.  This was her first class with us and we were excited to have her with us.

In February 2011 we had a wonderful second class with Cheryl Simon.  In this class, we learned the fascinating Mi’kmaq skill of “painting” with porcupine quills by creating an authentic Mi’kmaq petroglyph design on birchbark with tiny white quills, suitable for framing.  Paper and frames were available - requested when registering.

In February 2012 as a workshop in conjunction with our AGM we were fortunate enough to have Mi'kmaq artist Cheryl Simon teaching us again. This workshop re-visited the previous techniques plus introduced us to using quills to create different "fill patterns" in designs.

Guild members donated hand-dyed porcupine quills and Lunenburg County birchbark for this event - many thanks to Edie, Clary and Monique.
willow basket

March 12 and 13, 2011 - Saturday and Sunday
Willow Easter Baskets with Joleen Gordon

Over two days in March 2011 we wove our very own Easter Basket, or made one for someone special, using English bark willows.  An 8” round-bottomed, double-staked randed or twined-sided basket with a single high “overhand” wrapped handle.  It was a class good for beginners and experimental for those with weaving experience. 
fishing creelwool basket

Fishing Creel OR Wool Basket

In July 2011 we offered a choice between two baskets: a fishing creel complete with lid and trout hole OR a replica of an antique wool basket also with lid and handle. Both classes carried on side by side, so that even though we made only one basket we got  a generous knowledge of the other. Both are made of round reed. The class was held on the beautiful Eastern Shore in Seaforth, taught by Hannah Dunleavy.
Lidded Ash Basket

Mi'kmaq Hand-pounded Ash Lidded Basket

In September 2011 we were again taught by Chief Greg McEwan and learned how to weave a round-bottomed basket complete with colourful patterned sides and how make a lid to fit!  Greg  demonstrated Ash pounding and welcomed volunteers.
Tamarack Goose November 2011Tamarack Geese November 2011

Tamarack Geese

In November 2011 using the Tamarack, Hackmatack, Juniper or Larch – the tree with many names and also the only needle-bearing tree to lose its needles come fall., we created  our own Tamarack Goose.  We bound tamarack limbs into an outdoor garden ornament modeled after the tamarack geese decoys made by the native Cree people in Northern Ontario used to lure Canada and Snow Geese.  Note: our geese will not be used for hunting.   Guild provided binding twine and camaraderie.

Christmas Angel

Christmas Angels

December 2011 we created our very own Christmas Angel, complete with Trumpet, from sticks and boiled Virginia Creeper vines.

In December 2012 we spent some joyful time creating, woven hearts, woven bells, woven stars, and tried a woven boot.
Pegged Birch Bark       Todd Labrador Birch Bark Container

Birchbark Cylinder Container

In January and February 2012 we created containers made of a rectangular piece of birchbark, rolled into a cylinder stitched with root and then either pegged to a wooden circular bottom, or using a root, laced the bottom.  These canister-like containers were traditionally used for storage.  
paper beads by Salynepaper flowers

Paper Bead Jewellery and Paper Flowers Workshop

In May and June 2012 we had two special workshops with one of our newer members, Salyne Ting-eo, who arrived in Canada in the past year from the Philippines. Salyne makes rolled paper beads and rolled paper flowers as well as cut and folded woven potato chip bag purses.  She showed us how to make the paper beads and assemble them in the first workshop plus how to prepare the potato chips bags for a future workshop, and in June we made rolled paper flowers.
Greg McEwan's Lidded Basket

White Ash Basket with Lid

In September 2012 we were fortunate to have Greg McEwan and his partner Margaret return to teach us another Mi'kmaq basket they have designed especially for this class.  We learned how the Mi'kmaq hand pound, split and shave White Ash to make weaving strips.  We used these strips to create a lidded basket 7x7x10" high with a square bottom, rounded vase-like sides using coloured strips and a raised-weave Periwinkle design.  The lid was woven in the round Mi'kmaq star pattern known as Kloqowej.  A beautiful basket!
Reed Randed baskets

Short cut Randed Basket

In October 2012 we created these Short Cut Randed baskets using reed donated to us by basketmakers who were downsizing.  This basket is 6x10x15" and uses short pieces of dyed/stained reed of any width for the randing.  
Twill Arrow Head BasketTwill Basket

Twill Weave Basket

In November 2012 we created these twill weave baskets using reed donated to us by basketmakers who were downsizing.  This basket is 5x13x3" and uses a combination of triple weave (three rod whale) and twill weave.
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