June 5-9, 2017
Faculty: Prin Van Gulden
In this five day basket making intensive, we get straight to weaving right from the Northeast Kingdom landscape. We’ll begin by ambling through the woods, learning what makes an optimal tree for basketry, and discussing how to harvest sustainably. Next, we will transform a recently harvested tree into usable materials, breaking a sweat as we pound the ash log into splints and weavers. Prin van Gulden will provide hands on instruction in weaving and lashing simple baskets with deep connection to the land. As we weave with ash, we will explore the context of the craft with an introduction to the rich stories that surround the use of this beautiful material. We’ll talk about how the people and plants are woven together with a shared history and create our own personal connections to and through the craft.
Students who wish to deepen their study of traditional basketry beyond working with ash may also choose to enroll in the second course in our basket making sequence, Weaving from the Landscape: Willow & Birch. SAFETY NOTE: This course involves the use of knives and other sharp hand tools; students must be capable utilizing such tools safely. Students will need a moderate of level of hand strength to create their own baskets.
Prerequisites: In addition to introducing basket weaving skills, this course is designed to connect to the landscape by teaching students to sustainably harvest and process their own materials. As such, the course offers learning opportunities for beginners who want to learn this form of basketry from the start, as well as for more advanced basket weavers who are used to working with commercially available materials and are looking to expand their skill sets.
Tuition & Fees: $775 covers the cost of the instruction, field trips, most course materials, three meals per day from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen, and ground transportation between class locations. Not included are airport transfers or accommodations; please let us know if we can assist you with finding or providing these.
Additional Materials: Because it is important to become familiar and develop muscle memory with our own hand tools, students will be expected to bring and work with their own knives.
Housing Availability & Fees: On-campus housing is available for an additional fee of $60 per night with a private bathroom and $50 per night with shared bathroom access. Please note that Sterling College offers rustic, dormitory-style housing that is clean and safe but not luxurious. Availability is limited and room requests are filled on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis. Please visit our accommodations page for more options.
Need some more information before you register? Let us know!
Faculty Bio: Prin van Gulden has been weaving baskets for a decade. She is most passionate about weaving traditional styles of baskets that have a specific purpose: the hen basket, the potato basket, or the birch bark salt cellar, for example. She explores how these baskets fit into village life, the homestead, a trapper’s lifestyle, or wherever the form originated. Prin, a 2007 Sterling College alumna with a degree in Sustainable Agriculture, lives and works on diversified farm producing cattle, sheep, chickens, veggies, and mushrooms. She teaches fiber arts classes and workshops at the College and beyond. Though the days of a mother-farmer-teacher-craftsperson are beyond full, Prin always makes time to tinker and craft, deepening her knowledge about about traditional and land-based crafts skills such as felting, spinning, knitting, weaving, natural dyeing, and basketry.