If you are unable to read this newsletter please e-mail nsbg@chebucto.ca



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

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



Fall 2011

Volume 23 Number 3, September to December 2011


Hello Everyone,

Our spring class with Clara Gough was a wonderful experience.  Clara is an attentive, gentle and encouraging teacher – many, many thanks Clara for sharing your basketry stories with us. Our baskets look beautiful!

As we look forward to the fall of the year lots of basketry projects come to mind .
Outdoor Lanterns, Outdoor Tamarack Geese, Outdoor Harvest Baskets –a theme?

A Poignant Note:
South African archaeologist Glynn Isaac (1937-1985) who worked with Richard Leaky thought a lot about baskets and the role they played in the evolution of man.  He wrote that “the watershed achievement of all time was the invention of the basket”. Quote from “Interlacing, the elemental fabric” by Jack Lenor Larsen published by Kodansha International, New York, 1986:18.


Note from  Pat Othen:  If you misplace this newsletter over the summer, you will find a copy in the archive section of our website.  It is under the Tab "Past Events".


(calendar year)

$15 per individual
$20 per couple

Payable to:
Nova Scotia Basketry Guild

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


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!

Mornings and Evenings

 Mornings 9:30am to 1pm
 Complete those projects or start new ones.  Gather for a potluck lunch at noon.

Evenings 7pm to 9pm
Working members would like to have fun too.

Phone Joleen for details



Guild Basket Demonstrations

July 22-24 (Friday - Sunday)  – Nova Scotia Designer Craft Summer Market in Victoria Park, Halifax (across from the Public Gardens on Spring Garden Road).  We will demonstrate the Berry Box Lanterns in the run-up to Nocturne: Art at Night in Halifax in October  ("Berry-Box Lantern" Public Workshop. See our October Guild Workshop below.)

July 23-24 (Saturday - Sunday) – Acadian Days at Grand Pré.
We demonstrated last summer on the Sunday with lots of interest.  Bring whatever basket you are working on at the time and enjoy the festivities.  For complete program:
www.grand-pre.com. To carpool, contact Joleen Gordon; E-mail:  Joleen

October 8 (Saturday)  – Ross Farm Museum.
Our annual trip to Ross Farm Museum where we make witherod or willow baskets and they feed us with freshly baked cookies and tea from Rosebank Cottage kitchen. Please volunteer for this family day at the farm.
Contact: Donna Silvert  E-mail:

November 18-20, 2011 (Friday to Sunday) – Nova Scotia Designer Craft Christmas Market.
Exact dates and times later, but it will be at the Cunard Event Centre, Pier 23, 961 Marginal Road, Halifax.



April 2012 – Guild Basket Exhibition: “GREEN BASKETRY”
We have been successful in our application to have another basketry exhibition at the Craig Gallery at the Alderney Landing in the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal Building.  This exhibition of recently created baskets by our members will feature locally grown or found materials available in Nova Scotia.  We have a rich variety of natural materials – shoots of willow, witherod and dogwood; strips of maple, ash and poplar; stems of grass, rush and straw; long lengths of tree roots, vines and garden leaves. We also have a wealth of man-made materials – colourful telephone wire and plastic cord as well as paper, cardboard and boxboard, some of which can be cut, woven, twisted, coiled, wrapped or re-shaped and re-woven into a variety of both traditional and “new” baskets, arbours, trellises and wonderful organic garden creations.

We shall be offering Guild workshops to the public and our members focussing on making and creating with both traditional and “new” man-made basketry materials between now and April 2012.  Let’s hear about your Green baskets ideas for future workshops!

During the exhibition, we are planning a public workshop making the “Wine Box Basket Tote” re-using the Alderney Landing NSLC boxes.  We also plan to offer basket demonstrations reflecting the exhibition theme during the April Saturday morning markets.  We are also planning an evening seminar discussion “What is a Basket?” delving into the long debated topic of the difference between Art and Craft.

This should be a lot of fun for us – and very educational for the public!



Peggy Jenkinson  -- Peggy will be at the Lunenburg Farmers' Market all summer (Thursdays 8am until noon in the Community Centre Parking Lot (arena if raining)).

July 30th Peggy will be demonstrating basketmaking at the Bridgewater Exhibition.


Usually the Third Saturday of each month (September to May)
Register with and pay the contact person listed for each class.
If you are not a current member you will be required to pay the $15 annual dues plus the class fee.


September 17 and 18, 2011 - Saturday and Sunday
Mi'kmaq Hand-pounded Ash Lidded Basket
with Chief Greg McEwan

Lidded Ash Basket

Learn how to weave a round-bottomed basket complete with colourful patterned sides and make a lid to fit!  Greg will demonstrate Ash pounding and welcomes volunteers.

Instructor: Chief Greg McEwan

Cost:  $130.00 (includes materials)

Participants:  10

Place:  Cox Lake Camp, Hammond's Plains, Nova Scotia

Time: Saturday, 9:30am to 3:30pm
          Sunday, 9:30am to 3:30pm

Tools: Non-folding knife and lunch both days

Class contact: Register with Lillian Fowler E:mail Lillian

Please Register and Mail in your Class Fee before September 3, 2011
Nova Scotia Basketry Guild, 121 Crichton Street, Dartmouth, NS, B3A 3R6


October 15, 2011 - Saturday
Nocturne: Art at Night in Halifax
"Berry-Box Lantern" Public Workshop

Berry Box Lantern

Our suggestion for having a public workshop teaching people how to make the unique Halifax craft of Berry-Box Lanterns was a hit with both the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design and the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market – AS long as we do not put real candles in them; fire regulations…  

The berry boxes are made in Nova Scotia, a symbol of farmers’ markets, of eating local and they are another way of re-using and enjoying.  Also, the three projections on the front of the new Halifax Seaport Market Building are called “lanterns” (that was new to me) and we shall have a table in the centre one.

Nine volunteers shall be working in 3’s, in each of the three 2-hour shifts, showing 25 people in each shift how to put together 6 boxes with metal twist ties to make a lantern; total 75 lanterns using 450 boxes!  For lighting, we will have small battery-operated tea lights or they can put a lighted candle in at home.

PLEASE VOLUNTEER – this event is a fund raiser for our Guild.  Special consideration for a basket workshop in 2013, our 25th Anniversary year…


We will demonstrate this craft at the Nova Scotia Designer Craft Summer Market in July.  We will also teach the skill any Gordon Summer Tuesday basket morning.  Come and learn so you can teach at Nocturne and be part of the night-time fun! 

Participants:  9 Volunteers -- 3 for 6pm-8pm, 3 for 8pm-10pm, 3 for 10pm-midnight

Place:  Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market

Time: 6pm to midnight

Tools: your enthusiasm

Class contact: Register with Joleen Gordon  E:mail Joleen


November 19, 2011 - Saturday
Tamarack Geese
with Guild Members

Tamarack Goose

Tamarack, Hackmatack, Juniper or Larch – the tree with many names.  Also the only needle-bearing tree to lose its needles come fall.  Create your own Tamarack Goose of bound tamarack limbs into an outdoor garden ornament modelled 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 will provide binding twine and camaraderie.

Instructor: Guild Members

Cost:  $10.00 (Collecting Trip either previous Saturday/Sunday November 12/13)

Participants:  10

Place:  Cox Lake Camp, Hammond's Plains, Nova Scotia

Time: Collecting either Saturday/Sunday Nov. 12/13, details later for participants
          Constructing Saturday Nov. 19, 9:30am to 3:30pm

Tools: clippers and lunch

Class contact:
 Register with Kay Stanfield  E:mail Kay

Please Register and Mail in your Class Fee before November 5, 2011
Nova Scotia Basketry Guild, 121 Crichton Street, Dartmouth, NS, B3A 3R6


December 3, 2011 - Saturday
Christmas Angels
with Guild Members

Christmas Angel

Create you very own Christmas Angel, complete with Trumpet, from sticks and Virginia Creeper vines.  We could also make lighted Random-weave Balls for hanging.

Instructor: Guild Members

Cost:  $10.00 (Collecting Trip either previous Saturday/Sunday November 26/27)

Participants:  10

Place:  121 Crichton Avenue, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Time: Collecting either Saturday/Sunday Nov 26/27, details later for participants
          Constructing Saturday Dec. 3, 9:30am to 3:30pm

Tools: clippers and lunch

Class contact:
 Register with Joleen Gordon  E:mail Joleen

Please Register and Mail in your Class Fee before November 19, 2011
Nova Scotia Basketry Guild, 121 Crichton Street, Dartmouth, NS, B3A 3R6




Basket and Basketry Outlets

Clara Gough has been selling her Maple baskets in the Dartmouth Alderney Landing Market on Saturday mornings.

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. Greg's baskets are also on sale at Lucia Studio in Chester.

Maritime Hobbies in Halifax is now selling reed basketry kits, tools, pre-woven cane for chair seats and books. The kits are great if you don't have storage space for bundles of reeds.  They will also order reed, handles, tools, dyes at your request. 1521 Grafton Street, 902-423-8870.


Nova Scotia Basketry Contacts

New Glasgow:  Donna Manuel
Cape Breton:  Diane Langdon-Dann
Seaforth:  Hannah Dunleavy
Lunenburg:  Heather Sanft
Antigonish:  Sian Turner
Hubbards:  Peggy Jenkinson

Contact us for further information Nova Scotia Basketry Guild


Other Things to See and Do

July 16-17 – Yellow Birch Hat Making Demonstration
Ross Farm part of The Nova Scotia Museum
Staff will demonstrate hat making using strips of wood known as “sheens” stripped from freshly gathered yellow birch logs. 
More information: 1-902-689-2210 or
Ross Farm Museum.
Read “Handwoven Hats, A History of Straw, Wood and Rush Hats in Nova Scotia” by Joleen Gordon, available at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History shop or a library.


August 28 - September 3
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Summer Workshops:

 Charissa Brock will teach basketry with Bamboo.
For more information contact
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts



CANCELLED (I am so sorry...
Uncommon Threads:  Wabanaki Textiles, Clothing and Costume"

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History in Halifax
October 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011

This exhibition features Mi'kmaq basketry reproductions and many other objects.  The exhibition will remain in Augusta, Maine until December 2011.  It opens February 2012 at the National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center in New York City.


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