In Shop Blog, Woodworking Videos

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basket weavingOur new video, “Traditional Basket Weaving,” is about to drop on February 5th at, and I can honestly say that I am blown away.  I have seen plenty of woven baskets in my life, but I never knew how much hard work and detail went into making each one.  You don’t have to take my word on it though, David Thiel was present during the DVD shoot and you can read his thoughts below.

— Jon Russelburg

Traditional Basket Weaving as Woodworking?!

Underwater Basket Weaving…it’s a joke from my childhood and I just can’t get it out of my head. Don’t get me wrong, I have great respect for the skill needed to create a basket, and I certainly wouldn’t want to try it underwater! But I will admit that I never thought of it as a project closely related to my woodworking. Then I met April Stone Dahl…

When Popular Woodworking went to upper Michigan to film April, I was warned to bring some boots along as we’d need to be in some muddy woods to fell the tree. Woods? Tree? Cool! April’s baskets are primarily made from black ash trees, and we not only felled a tree for the process, but it seems that the first step in getting the splits to make the baskets is pounding a log with mallets.

 My preconceived notions were still in the way though, because I didn’t see how weaving wood made sense. Even veneer strips would be pretty breakable and uncomfortable to weave, right? Not so – just add water! Soaked splits become remarkably flexible and are pretty forgiving. And watching a basket form from what was a tree only hours earlier…well it’s no joke, and it’s a very cool thing to watch — and do!

 Watch the whole process – from felling to weaving – in “Traditional Basket Weaving.”

 — David Thiel

Editor’s note — You can pre-order “Traditional Basket Weaving” at on DVD or digital download.

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  • mbholden

    All joking aside, PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) offers underwater basket weaving as a specialty course. Strange, but true.

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