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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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Fall/Winter 2013

Volume 25 Number 3 September to December 2013

The April Wooden Flower workshop with David Meuse at the Glooscap Heritage Centre was excellent – well organized, well attended and we learned how to make two beautiful flowers – the Brown-eyed Daisy using the dried centre from the real flower surrounded by narrow petals of Poplar wood and the multi-petaled rose with options to dye our finished products.

The April/May Red Osier Dogwood and Acadian Willow basket collecting trip and class were both well attended and lots of fun.  We have several new members who have brought new expertise to our group.  Thank you to Iain Jack, owner of the Fernwood Plant Nursery in Hubbards, who gave us an informative walk through Tangled Garden in Grand Pre when owner and Guild member Beverly McClare was working at the Saltscapes Expo.

The June/July class was low in registration but it went ahead as two new members from New Brunswick wished to attend.  We go to great extents in our love of basketry!

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, birchbark and spruce roots.  No class in December.

Your President

(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 project, unfinished or in your head, and we will work on them together.

Tuesday Mornings
starting September 17th

9:30am to Noon
with a potluck lunch at noon.

 Contact Us for more information


Saturday October 12th - Ross Farm Museum
Harvest Baskets at Ross Farm Museum.
The staff cut us witherod, Viburnum cassinoides, we weave baskets with it, meet the public and munch freshly-baked ginger cookies with tea!

Bring your latest basket project, your lunch and enjoy a day at the farm.
Car pooling Contact Us

MONTHLY GUILD WORKSHOPS If you are not a current member you will be required to pay
the $15 annual dues plus the class fee.

Ash-splint Wine Caddy/Knitting Basket
with Greg McEwan

September 21 and 22

Wine Tote    Knitting Basket
Come and enjoy our annual weekend with Mi’kmaw basketmakers Greg McEwan and his partner Margaret Sloane.  Try your arm at hand-pounding Ash splints.  Weave the splints into an attractive basket with an 8-inch round bottom, 12 inches high and a swing handle making a total height of around 18 inches.  As usual, Greg and Margaret will bring a selection of finished baskets for sale.  Guild members are welcome to stop in and shop.

Cost: $110.00 includes all materials; Guild funding this class.
Participants: 8-10
Place: Cox Lake, Hammond’s Plains 
Time: 9:30-3:30 both days
Tools: non-folding knife, scissors, wire cutters, hammer and lunch both days
Class contact:  Contact Us

Please register and mail class fee before September 7 to Nova Scotia Basketry Guild 121 Crichton Avenue, Dartmouth NS B3A 3R6


Birch bark Root-sewn Basket
with Todd Labrador

October 19 (Oct 20 rain date)

      Birch bark bowl inner surface     Birch bark bowl bottom

Learn how our native people gather and use birchbark and spruce roots to make their canoes and baskets with internationally known Mi’kmaw birch bark canoe maker Todd Labrador from Brookfield in Queen’s County.  We will be making an 8-10 inch container of birch bark, cut and laced together with peeled and split spruce root, and finished with a hardwood rim laced with peeled and split spruce root.

Cost: $75.00; Guild funding this class.
Participants: 8-10
Place: Cox Lake, Hammond’s Plains 
Time: 9:30-3:30pm
Tools: non-folding knife, scissors for bark, lunch
Class contact:  Contact Us

Please register and mail class fee before October 5 to Nova Scotia Basketry Guild 121 Crichton Avenue, Dartmouth NS B3A 3R6.


Christmas Ornaments
with Guild members

November 16 

This will be a round-robin event with three, maybe four, events going on at the same time.  Members can move from one to another, or stay and repeat a project.

Learn how to make the Nova Scotia Snowflakes in different sizes and complexity.woven star ornament
Learn how to make a Mi’kmaq Ash wood and Sweetgrass 3-dimensional Star, the original of which was found on Prince Edward Island.
Ash and Sweetgrass Star Ornament
Learn how to make the German Straw Stars of split and pressed (yes, ironed!) straws bound with colourful threads.
German Pressed Straw Star
And, if we have leftover spruce root, learn how to make a chain of spruce roots for your Christmas tree.
spruce root chain

Cost: $15.00 

Participants: 10 - 12
Place: Conrad Room, Findlay Community Centre, Elliott Street, Dartmouth
Time: 9:30-3:30pm
Tools: clippers, scissors; and lunch
Class contact:  Contact Us

Please register and mail class fee before November 1 to Nova Scotia Basketry Guild 121 Crichton Avenue, Dartmouth NS B3A 3R6.


Advent Wreath Making
with Rhinhart Petersmann

November 24 

Advent Wreath
Our traditional wreath making with Rhinhart Petersmann.

Cost: free

Participants: 10 max
Place: Cox Lake, Hammond’s Plains 
Time: 9:30-noon collecting greenery; lunch; 1-3pm wreath making
Tools: clipper for greenery; wire coat hanger and cutters; and lunch
Class contact:  Contact Us

Please register and mail class fee before November 8 to Nova Scotia Basketry Guild 121 Crichton Avenue, Dartmouth NS B3A 3R6.

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
 Contact Us)
New Glasgow
Cape Breton
South Shore

Other Things to See and Do

October 5-6 – Ash Basket Making Workshop
Saturday 9-4pm and Sunday 9-1pm
Glooscap Heritage Centre, 65 Treaty Trail. Millbrook NS.
To register, phone 902-843-3493 or email info@glooscapheritagecentre.com


Exciting NEW website launched – www.mikmawarchives.ca

“Sharing the Mi’kmaw Journey: Tepi’ketuek Mi’kmaw Archives website launch” was featured in the Mi’kmaw-Maliseet Nations News July 2013, volume 24 no.7. 
Tepi’ketuek is a Mi’kmaw term meaning “sharing” or “distributing what we have”.
Mi’kmaw elder Caroline Gould speaks in the opening website video about “one of the core teachings about Mi’kmaq in the area of humanities was to focus on baskets.  The Mi’kmaw basket is the visual theme and also a metaphor as basket-weaving is a time-honoured and contemporary practice which illustrates the basic teachings of Mi’kmaw knowledge, traditions, economics, story-telling and sharing our identity as Mi’kmaq.”   

Weir fishing in the Minas Basin - two recent articles:
Tough work in the weir” by Aaron Beswick, Herald News, Truro Bureau.  June 20, 2012.  Talks about weir fishing in Five Islands on the north coast of Minas Basin.

Weir gone fishin’ Minas basin fisherman uses ancient, laborious technique to scratch a living from the sea” by Gordon Delaney, Chronicle Herald, Valley Bureau, June 29, 2013 – front page! Talks about weir fishing in Bramber on the south shore of the Minas Basin.

Up Here magazine  July/August 2013: Page 44-53.  On newsstands now!
“When the Vikings were in Nunavut, A thousand years ago, the ancient Norse told rumours of a mysterious place called Helluland, far to the northwest of Europe.  Now, a millennium later, clues are turning up on Baffin Island that could overhaul the history of the Arctic.”  Story by Margo Pfieff with photography by David Coventry.

This is a most interesting article which all Canadians should read – not only for its fascinating archaeological account of Norse settlement in Canada, along with a most interesting coiled root basket, but also because of the decision by our current Canadian government to cancel this research in the spring of 2012. 

Artic Willow Basket

Basket Arctic willow (Salix sp.) root Bathurst Island, Arctic Canada QiLd-1:2331 Photo: Pat Sutherland Baskets similar to this specimen from Arctic Canada have been found in Greenlandic Norse sites. Small baskets such as this may have been used by children.

Anyone  interested in working with a Halifax-based Japanese Ikebana teacher/artist Miyako combining basketry and Ikebana for an interesting exhibition proposal, please contact Joleen 469-2798.
For more information on the artist: www.theikebanashop.com

A Guild member brought home a newsletter from the Venetian Society of Basket Weavers based in Florida.  Great work.
Look at their website: www.venicebasketweavers.com

Reminder: when camping this summer do not move firewood!
The Appalachian Mountain Club July/August 2013 page 13 -"Forest Foes" records that after being introduced to Michigan 11 years ago, the  Emerald Ash Beetle has recently been found in New Hampshire.  The short-flying bug has been taken long distances unknowingly by campers toting firewood.  This green-coloured bug kills all varieties of ash trees making them useless for basketmaking.  So far, it has not been reported in Nova Scotia and we would like to keep it that way. 

Be in the know -  "Do Not Move Firewood!" 

More info: at <stopthebeetle.info> or at the Canadian Forest Service
Natural Resources Canada

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.