Pack Basket Weaving Workshop at Railyard Apothecary

Saturday, January 13, 10am-5pm and Sunday, January 14, 10am-5pm

Join Andy Paonessa at Railyard Apothecary for a two-day black ash pack basket making workshop!

This workshop is specifically focused on one of our region’s most important and unique basket plants, the black ash.

The black ash (Fraxinus nigra) has a range that stretches from the Canadian Maritimes and Northeastern U.S. down into Central Appalachian across to the Great Lakes of the Midwest and Southern Canada. It is an uncommon tree with a specific habitat. It prefers somewhat saturated soil choosing to grow in wetland forests, along streams and rivers and mountain seeps.

The processing of ash splint begins by choosing a healthy tree with a relatively straight trunk. After felling, I begin by peeling the bark, scoring strips lengthwise down the log with a knife, and then begin pounding with a large hammer. As the log is pounded the individual growth rings separate creating the most amazing material for weaving baskets. Beautiful, flexible, light and incredibly strong.

Everyone will leave with a medium sized black ash pack basket complete with northern white cedar skids and bottoms and canvas straps that we will sew together during the workshop.

Andy Paonessa is a craftsman, naturalist, and farmer who lives in South Albany, Vermont. He has been making baskets and teaching workshops for over 10 years and runs Heartwood Farm, a 5 acre diversified veggie farm and 1,200 tap sugarbush. Andy strives to make his living from the land by having a direct connection with the earth through his work.

Pre-registration required. $250.00, materials included.

Sign up here: