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121 Crichton Avenue
Dartmouth NS B3A 3R6
Phone: 902-469-2798

E-mail: nsbg@chebucto.ns.ca
Website: www.nsbg.chebucto.org
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Year 2013

Volume 25 Number 1 January to March 2013

2013 marks our 25th Anniversary – amazing!
Your executive has decided to focus on the basket traditions we have in Nova Scotia which have been handed down in the oral history of this Province - from one person to another.  Given that we live in a fast-paced computer age, the fact that we have so many basket traditions alive in the hands of the makers from our four founding cultures – Mi’kmaq, Acadian, Black and Celtic/European – is truly awesome and well worth celebrating.
Joleen Gordon, President

A reminder to readers that all words in blue type and underlined are clickable links and should take you to a blank e-mail message or a web page.

(calendar year)

$15 per individual
$20 per couple

Payable to:
Nova Scotia Basketry Guild

Mail to:
121 Crichton Avenue, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia,
B3A 3R6

Contact us if you are not sure if your dues are paid for the current year


Suggestions for workshops, and locations to hold the workshops are always appreciated.

If you, or someone you know, would like to teach a workshop, or have an idea for a workshop, or an idea for workshop space, please e-mail us and let us know. We have people who can help make it happen!

These gatherings are open to Guild Members only.
This is a non-teaching morning.  You bring your basket projects, unfinished or in your head, and we will work them out together.

Tuesday Mornings
 Starts January 8th
 9:30am to Noon
 with a potluck lunch at noon.

 Phone Joleen for more information

MONTHLY GUILD WORKSHOPS If you are not a current member you will be required to pay the $15 annual dues plus the class fee.
Workshops are usually the Third Saturday of the month.
Register with the class contact person listed with each class.

January 19 – Mi’kmaw Porcupine Quilling with Cheryl Simon 
Porcupine quilling sample
We begin the year with a rare opportunity to learn the history and meaning of this craft in the Mi’kmaw culture as well as the basics, along with more intricate patterning, in creating a bark medallion with Dartmouth artist Cheryl Simon.

This class will provide an introductory pattern for beginners plus the opportunity to build on previous workshops by focusing on the layering and filling techniques used to provide detail in Mi’kmaw quillwork.  An overview of different styles and techniques will be given along with a simple pattern for the base.  The participants will then choose which techniques to use by layering different coloured quills and expanding the pattern. Step-by-step instructions with photographs will be provided along with the materials.

Participants are urged to bring their previous works for show and tell.

Cost:  $50.00 for a full day, includes materials
Participants: 10
Place: Findlay Community Centre, Elliott Street, Dartmouth
Time: 9:30- 3:30pm
Tools: scissors for bark and tweezers plus your lunch
Class contact: Joleen Gordon, e-mail  Joleen,
Please register and mail class fee to Nova Scotia Basketry Guild 121 Crichton Avenue, Dartmouth NS  B3A 3R6


February 16 – Black History Month
in Nova Scotia

The craft of weaving Red Maple Baskets came to Nova Scotia with the freed Black people in October 1813 during the War of 1812-1815.  One of their descendants, Mrs. Edith Clayton, was our first Honourary Member.  Born in Cherrybrook, she lived with her family in East Preston.  As a young girl, she learned how to make baskets from her mother, grandmother and aunts. She taught her daughters how to weave baskets and she taught her sons how to collect the wood.  Two hundreds years later, these skills are alive today and form a very important part of the cultural fabric of the Province of Nova Scotia.
To honour this craft, the Alderney Gate Library will have a special screening of the National Film Board film “Black Mother, Black Daughter”.  The documentary honours basketmaker Edith Clayton; historian Pearleen Oliver; educator and community leader Dr. Marie Hamilton; and weaver and politician Daureen Lewis.  Also appearing in the film is the dynamic female a cappella quartet Four the Moment.  

Time: Saturday 2-4pm
Place: The Maxine Tynes Room of the Alderney Gate Library near the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal.


March 16 – Happy 25th Birthday Party and Annual General Meeting
One can’t have a birthday party without playing games – so – let’s have fun making a game!  Several years ago, while on a road trip along the north shore of the Gaspe Peninsula, we stopped at a Mi’kmaw craft shop.  The window was full of interesting objects one of which was a triangular piece of birchbark with a centre hole and a small wooden ball was attached with a cord to one corner.  What was it?  The shop was shut; I found later it was a game of enhancing hand-eye motor skills.  We also are working on presenting another game, the Cane Ball used in the game Sepak Raga in Southeast Asia.

Invitation – if you have basketry games, please bring them to share with others.

AGM will be held over the noon hour lunch break with Birthday Cake!
This meeting is open to all members and we welcome your ideas for future planning in Guild activities – YOUR Guild!

Cost:  $10.00 includes material 

Participants: open to all current members
Place: Findlay Community Centre, Elliott Street, Dartmouth
Time: 9:30- 3:30pm
Tools: pencil and ruler, scissors for bark, awl, large-eyed needle plus your lunch; Guild will supply the bark, wooden ball and waxed polyester thread.  You supply the skill!
Class contact: Joleen Gordon, e-mail Joleen,
Please register and mail class fee before March 1 to Nova Scotia Basketry Guild 121 Crichton Avenue, Dartmouth NS  B3A 3R6

March 24 – Easter Paper Strip and Ribbon Basket Workshop for children
Alderney Gate Public Library in the Helen Creighton Room.
Sunday afternoon March 24th -- 2:00 - 4:00pm. 
This will be Palm Sunday, a week before Easter Sunday.
Please volunteer to help the children make these baskets. 
If you would like a re-fresher class making these little baskets based on the Mi’kmaw design using the raised-weave diamond design, contact Joleen


In the Planning Stages...future workshops:

April 20, 2013
- Mi'kmaw Wooden Flowers 
April 27 and May 18, 2013 - Red Osier Dogwood and Acadian Willow Baskets (Collection and Workshop)
June 15 and July 20 + 21, 2013 - Acadian Root Basket  (Collection and Workshop)
July 28, 2013 - Acadian Day at Grand Pre (Demonstration)
July 2013 - NSDCC Summer Market (Demonstration)
July/August 2013 - Ross Farm Agricultural Museum Braided Straw/Wood Hat (Demonstration)

August 2013 - No program. No demonstrations

Fall Classes – In conjunction with the provincially designated Mi’kmaw History Month in October, we will focus all our fall classes on Mi’kmaw baskets – those made of hand-pounded Ash splints, fragrant sweetgrass and birchbark.

September 21-22, 2013 - Ash-splint Wine Caddy/Knitting Basket with Greg McEwan
October 12, 2013 - Harvest Basket at Ross Farm Agricultural Museum (Demonstration)
October 19-20, 2013 - Birch Bark Root-sewn Basket with Todd Labrador (Workshop)
November 16, 2013 - Mi'kmaw Fancy Basket with Margaret Pelletier and Della MacGuire (Workshop)
November 24, 2013 - Advent Wreath Making with Rhinhart Petersmann
December 7, 2013 - Christmas Ornaments from the Four Founding Traditions  (Workshop)


Check the current events section of our website for updates between major newsletters.

Basket and Basketry Outlets
Anne Mae Darville and Maggie Bean have baskets for sale at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia shop.
Greg McEwan's
ash baskets and Alan Hayward's bark baskets are for sale at The Bogside and Carrefour in Halifax.
Maritime Hobbies in Halifax is now carrying a variety of sizes of reed, stocking reed basketry kits, tools, pre-woven cane for chair seats and books. If you are out of town, give them a call they are always willing to find a way to deliver your order to you.  They will order reed, handles, tools, dyes, etc. at your request if they do not stock them. 1521 Grafton Street, 902-423-8870.

Nova Scotia Basketry Contacts

(Area Code 902)
New Glasgow:  Donna Manuel 
Cape Breton:  Diane Langdon-Dann

  Sian Turner

Seaforth:  Hannah Dunleavy 
Lunenburg:  Heather Sanft
Hubbards:  Peggy Jenkinson
South Shore:  Michael Wolter 

Other Things to See and Do

January 18 -  March 3, 2013 “A Very Long Engagement”

curated by Frances Dorsey at the Dalhousie University Art Gallery
Opening: Thursday January 17 at 8pm
Panel discussion with artists and curator: Friday January 18 at 2pm
This exhibition includes the work of contemporary American basketmaker Pat Hickman.  From the promotion material:  “Pat Hickman uses long tubes of translucent gut as both armature and carrier of meaning to probe loss and emptiness while reminding us of our own mortality.  The filament of membrane is essential in life, extending on into an afterlife both comforting and troubling.”
June 15, 2013 – 2nd Annual Avondale Art Fair
Avondale Art Fair in Hants County organized by Kathy Munroe and the Avondale Sky Winery.  We will not participate this year but members are encouraged to attend this delightful fair beside the waters of the Minas Basin.
August 11-23, 2013 - Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
in Deer Isle, Maine

Session 5 – Baskets with Japanese artist Hisako Sekijima.  Hisako taught for us in 1997 during the Canada-Asia Pacific Year of Craft.  She is the author of the book, “Basketry: projects from baskets to grass slippers” a copy of which is in our library.
Learn more at  Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Session 5
Also at Hisako Sekijima: Explorer of Fiber Boundaries

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