Process of Basket Making
Alice Ogden makes her baskets from high quality black ash logs collected from the woods and swamps of New Hampshire with the help of her family.
Alice's son "Bodhi" shown carrying a log out of the woods in Salisbury, NH.
She begins the process of harvesting material by stripping the black ash logs of their bark and pounds the log to loosen the layers; each layer representing one annual ring of growth (growth ring).
Alice removing the growth ring from a log that has had the bark removed and has been hand pounded.
Once loose enough to pull off the log, Alice then processes the splint some more by splitting it into its stain edge and skillfully cutting to size. After this is done she will have splints that can be used to weave her extraordinary baskets.
Alice Ogden splitting a rough black ash splint into its satin edge.
After weaving, Alice finishes her baskets with her trademark hand-carved oak handles. Unlike many baskets with sawn handles, Alice’s baskets have skillfully hand-whittled handles made from the wood of white oak trees which are also self harvested.
Alice Ogden carving white oak rims and handles.
With the rims and handles skillfully shaped to fit the basket, Alice lashes the delicate but sturdy handles tightly to the basket with a length of black ash splint.
Black ash splint lashing holding together the rims and swing handle.