Wasn’t so long ago. I lived in Alabama and was working away with white oak. But then I met a wonderful woman… and fell in love.
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, dating back to native Americans. I’ve worked with it before, as you can see in the pack baskets below, but it’s a whole new game to start from the splitting out the tree, as I’m attempting to do. Above are coils of split black ash, about half a tree.
Back to you when I finish the splits and am ready to weave. I have an old New England bushel basket mold that I’ve restored, and the splits are destined for use on it. If I can do the processing properly.