Root Stitched Birch Bark Baskets 3 Session Course

Instructor: John Manthei

Dates of the class: September 30 and October 7 & 8, 2023

Time of the class: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm each session

Location: Pioneer Park - Workshop (Click link for accessibility information.)

In this class we will use spruce root to stitch together birch bark containers and attach fitted wood bottoms using wooden nails. These containers are relatively straight forward to make and lend themselves to experimenting with shape and size.

The first day of the class will be devoted to spruce root, natures gift of cordage. We will meet at The Folk School Workshop in the morning and carpool out a logging road to dig root together. You will learn best where to harvest spruce root, how to tell it from other root, how to dig it up without damaging it, and then how to care for it once you have it out of the ground. We will return to the workshop around mid day and prep the root for use in the next session. We will boil the root which makes peeling it much cleaner and easier, and then learn how to split and dimension it for use.

Root Stitched Birch Bark Baskets The following weekend we will design and make at least two containers. You will become familiar with some of the wondrous characteristics of root and learn about interesting stitching patterns as well as about manipulating birch bark and the use of awls. There will be woodworking involved in making the wooden bottoms and nails.

The experiences you have in this class will surely come in handy in future craft endeavors. AND, what could be better than crawling around on your hands and knees digging in the moss on a crisp fall day.

Below is a link to view a video of John gathering spruce root:
Gathering Root with John

Age of students: 16 to adult

Prerequisites: Ability to walk in the woods, on uneven ground, in (potentially) inclement weather for several hours and crawl on hands and knees to dig spruce root.

Maximum number of students: 8

Minimum number of students: 5

Cost of the course: $315

Materials fee: $30

Contact: John Manthei:

Pre-registration: This class is pre-registration only. Please register by 2 days before the class begins. Registration will be closed after this time.




Root Stitched Birch Bark Baskets Root Stitched Birch Bark Baskets


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