Basketry: Birch Bark Box With Lid

Fiber Arts

Basketry: Birch Bark Box With Lid

Learn how to transform birch bark into functional art in the form of a box.

Meeting Times
  1. Sat, 11/4/2023 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  2. Sun, 11/5/2023 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Sat, 11/4/2023 - Sun, 11/5/2023


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Fiber Arts Studio



Birch is a remarkable tree found in the boreal regions around the world. The bark has long been utilized by indigenous peoples from Scandinavia through Russia, Alaska, Canada, and New England. Join us to learn about this amazing and versatile bark and continue its long history of tradition. Karen will share her knowledge of gathering birch while speaking to the seasonality and sustainability of this wonderful material.

In this class you will follow traditions creating a lined and lidded birch box while learning a variety of stitches to beautifully finish and strengthen the rims. The top can then be embellished with contrasting bark that may be stamped with leather tools to add a unique and personal touch. The importance of stitch placement and good pattern layout while reading the natural character of the bark will be emphasized. Finished container measures about 5x5x4 inches.


  • Skill Level: Beginning
  • Bring a sack lunch. BARN has a refrigerator and microwave on the lower level


  • Materials students need to bring:
  • A $40 materials fee, covers all materials needed- including Birch bark and Hamburg Cane. The materials fee is included in the class price.

Class Policies

  • Ages 14 and up welcome.

BARN Policies

Instructors or Guides

Karen Magnuson

Karen began her basket-weaving journey creating containers useful for wilderness survival. Over the last 35 years, her understanding of natural materials along with a refinement of weaving techniques has allowed a greater understanding of the enormous skill possessed by early basket makers. She carries a passion for exploring historic basketry techniques and styles and brings this to her work, in part, by harvesting and preparing her own materials.
Karen teaches ethnobotany programs with the Washington Department of Ecology. She leads online and in-person classes sharing more than 40 years' experience teaching the identification and traditions surrounding wild edible and medicinal plants. Karen leads basketry classes throughout the county and as well as other earth-centered programs through Earthwalk Northwest, a wilderness school she co-founded and directs.

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