Yesterday everyone sized their pounded ash strips and carved their skids, so today we’ll start weaving the baskets. Actually weaving the basket doesn’t take as long as getting and preparing the materials, so we should have some baskets near finished by this afternoon. They’ll have to dry overnight and be tightened, but the bulk of the weaving will be done.
Since the weather will be dry today we’ll also be working on tillering longbows. Bending them when the wood or the weather is damp is likely to result in string follow. Since that’s something we don’t want, we only tiller dry wood on dry days. It’s a pretty simple rule, but it can be tedious when the weather is wet for days at a time.
This is a great part of the semester course – when long-term projects are getting finished. When someone has their completed ash pack basket on their back, the work it took making it all seems worth it. Of course if you ask them if they want to do it again, you may get a colorful answer. But the one that they have came from hard work, and they’ll take pleasure in it for years to come.
I’ve seen a few witch hazel flowers over the past week, and our recent rains and wind have got us at, or maybe just past, peak foliage. It’s a great time to be outside.