Birch Bark Baskets

Posted on January 22, 2012



An ancient art form, born somewhere in the depths of the birch forest generations ago, continues to survive into the modern world. There is still great interest in the construction and decoration of birch bark baskets.        

Birch bark baskets are generally made from a single sheet of bark that is cut from a pattern, folded, punched with an awl and stitched using spruce root. A rim is added to support and strengthen the top and then lashed with inner cedar bark. Baskets may be decorated with designs by either etchings or quill embroidery.

Etched Musky Design

  Baskets a decorated by the use of a primitive etching technique. A cut-out stencil is placed upon the surface of the bark and the area around the pattern is scraped away by using a jack-knife until the lighter under-surface is exposed.

Octagonal Basket With Etched Design

Reflection Bear

Fancy Etchings

The Hare and the Turtle

Wolf and Pike Etching

Star Design

Handled Harvesting Basket

Plain Collecting Basket

Storage Basket With Lid

Rock Spirit Etched Design