We will use native deer grass (Muhlenbergia), or rush (Juncus), as the foundation for the beginning of a bowl-shaped basket suitable for holding fruit or for dough-rising. As binder, we will use peeled or unpeeled willow. Seen in the photograph is a Spanish-style dough basket. Participants with strong hands and who wish to start a skep (beehive) will have option of using a roadside grass and binding cane.
We will have a potluck lunch, giving everyone time to socialize with the instructor and fellow students.
What to bring:
- Tools: Sharp pocket knife, small diagonal wore clippers, a small towel, a large water bowl and any basketry tools you have.
- Something to share for the potluck lunch
- Personal beverages and snacks
- Layered clothing for variations in weather
- Notebook and camera if desired
Charlie Kennard of San Anselmo is a long-time basket weaver and student of California Indian and European techniques. He has taught for MAPOM, Point Reyes Field Institute, East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden, and in many schools and at teacher trainings. Tule boats made in his workshops can be seen at the California Academy of Sciences, the Bay Model in Sausalito, and another is in the collection of the Lake County Museum. You can also visit a basketry plant garden Charlie has created at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross, where he and friends also wove a basket 13 feet across. Charlie is active in native habitat restoration in Marin, managing several projects for Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed.
West County Fiber Arts is the studio of felt artist Heidi Harris, on a beautiful 1-acre property in rural Sonoma County, California. Classes will take place both indoors and in the garden.
If you are coming from out of town, overnight accommodations are plentiful in the vicinity — from nearby cottages and hotels to camping at the Russian River. See our Food & Lodging page for suggestions.