Ash Splint Harvest and Basketmaking

Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21, 10am-5pm

Presented by Brendan Gaffney

In this two-day workshop, learn to harvest ash splint for basketry and weave a small “square-to-round” ash basket. Beginning with sections of a log, we will learn how to shave and pound billets of ash into raw splint, further refine and divide the spine into weaving material, and learn the fundamentals of plaited basketry.

Ash splint, rendered from the white ash tree that is bountiful in our area (ours will come from Franklin), has been used for millennia in our region. The skill of turning an impossibly stiff and resilient ash log into the pliable and svelte ribbons of ash splint is a magical transformation. The only requirements in doing so are a few simple tools, a few lessons and your time, care and effort.

On top of learning this method of splint harvesting, we will weave a small basket that, although small in stature, will demonstrate every step of constructing any size basket, including laying up our bottoms and uprights, shaping the basket while weaving and making and lashing small bushel handles and a rim.

Students will leave the class with both the knowledge of how to create weaving materials from the woods around us and how to turn those materials into beautiful baskets.

Tool list:

We'll have extra scissors, butter knives, clamps, and buckets on hand. You'll definitely need to bring your own carving knife and hand towel.


Reserve online or in person before the date of the workshop.

Brendan Bernhardt Gaffney is a furnituremaker, design, writer and educator based in Otego, New York.
(607) 746-2003
updated 05/11/24