Wasn’t so long ago. I lived in Alabama, making mostly white oak baskets. But then I met a wonderful woman, and…
Now, I’m a displaced Appalachian basket maker residing next to a lake and the coastline of Maine. (I lived here in the 80s but sailed away for southern climes on an old wooden boat.)
Traditional basket makers here have used black ash since early Native American history. I’ve worked with it before, as you can see in the pack baskets below, but it’s a new game to start from the splitting out the tree. Above are coils of split black ash, about half a tree.
I have an old New England bushel basket mold in the process of restoration, and the splits are destined for use on it.