American Pounded Ash Baskets


TUTOR: Jamin Uticone

Handmade Black Ash baskets were once as common and important as the potatoes, corn and berries they carried. Replaced today by commercially mass-produced containers, quality ash baskets and their makers are becoming rare. Fortunately, great artists continue to share their knowledge of this thousand year-old craft. Native Americans were probably the first to make use of the Black Ash tree in this way.
This is a unique opportunity to work with Jamin Uticone on a three day workshop to use ready pounded strips from an ash log to make a Black Ash side bag. The lid and straps will be made from vegetable tanned leather from the Colyton tannery in Devon.

About the course

Title: American Pounded Ash Baskets
Description: Ready pounded strips from a log will be provided and students will prepare these to make a 6” or 9” side bag with a lid and straps from vegetable tanned leather from the Colyton tannery in Devon.
About the tutor: The ‘Swamp’ or Black Ash grows in rare pockets of cool bottomland spanning from the Great Lakes east to Maine and from Virginia north through Canada. Jamin learnt to make traditional Adirondack-style baskets during a six year apprenticeship and today he pounds, cuts, shaves and shapes each splint to make his beautiful work. Jamin says he is honoured to be a part of this tradition. You can find more information at
Knowledge/skills: Previous basketmaking skills and good knife skills are required.
Course Format: Jamin will demonstrate how to process the black ash. All of the materials used are processed with simple hand tools and traditional methods. Each basket splint is hand pounded, cut, shaved, and shaped to ensure the uniqueness and quality of every basket. The process of creating weaving splints from the Black Ash tree is as much an art as the basket making itself.
The course will be structured to ensure that you will produce a 6” or 9” side bag designed to be worn across the chest. The basket will be woven with a bellied front and flat back.

After completing this course….
You will have created a unique and beautiful bag that you will be able to parade at the festival weekend. You will have learnt how to work with pounded ash and extended your basketry skills.

Cost: £285 includes all materials, tea/coffee and cakes.
Duration: This is a three day course starting at 10:00 and finishing by 17:00
Dates: Tuesday 14 May, Wednesday 15 May and Thursday 16 May 2013
Accommodation: Dartington Estate has a range of accommodation with reduced rates. Contact: 01803 847147 email quoting Basketry and Beyond Festival.
What to bring: Further details will be provided.