basket camp!

May 19-22 / 2022
Tamarack Lake MN (near Sandstone, MN)
With Anni Zylstra & Zac Fittipaldi

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You're invited to Basket Camp 2022!

Join professional weavers, craft enthusiasts, and goofballs Zac Fittipaldi & Anni Zylstra for a fun and studious weekend of learning the traditional art of willow basketmaking on the shores of Tamarack Lake in the north woods of so-called Minnesota.

 

Basket Camp is your opportunity to spend 3 full days in the woods with a group of new friends learning, weaving, playing, swimming, rejuvenating, and camping while getting an intensive hands-on education in a well loved, ancient, regenerative basketry material - Willow - with multiple techniques and weaving styles.

 

If you've been looking for a chance to begin or deepen your journey with basketry, basket camp is a great opportunity to spend some real time developing this skill in a beautiful, relaxed, and fun setting with skillful instruction. Weavers will be able to indicate their skill level in the form below. We are accepting both beginner and intermediate students this year! 

Oval Pack Baskets & Round Beginner Baskets

Students will spend the weekend either establishing a foundation in beginner-level willow skills, or deepening their existing skillset to an intermediate level. Beginner students will learn traditional round-base stake and strand style willow work from northern and western Europe, and focus on designing and making one to two round-base baskets. Intermediate students (beginner willow skillset required) will work with Anni to build their very own oval base stake-and-strand pack basket start to finish. 

 

Students will be working with pre-cured and soaked willow. Harvesting our own materials is not an option for this class, as Basket Camp falls outside the harvest window for willow. However, as part of the course, Anni will share abundant information about material that will help prepare students to continue their weaving journeys at home, including wild coppicing, growing basketry willow, sorting, storage, soaking, preparing material for weaving, and more.

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the dealio

Cost

The cost for the weekend is $450 and includes all basket materials, 3 days of instruction, 3 or 4 nights of camping with drinking water, access to beautiful Tamarack lake, use of a primitive wood-fired bathtub, and outhouse. For those building pack baskets over the weekend, there may be an opportunity to purchase strapping materials on site for $25 if time allows for strapping instruction.

 

The cost for the weekend is a little less than the cost of a pack basket made by Anni or Zac, but instead of simply buying a pack basket, you will leave with a pack or other baskets made by YOU, the skills to continue the craft for the rest of your life (if you want!), and a refreshed spirit after spending several days in the woods making with your hands. The cost for the weekend will also cover over 100 hours of labor each from Zac & Anni, and will allow these working craftspeople to pay themselves a fair wage for their skilled work.

Payment plans are available. Please read the registration form for all details about payment. Anni will be taking one work trade student who is available to help with local labor prior to camp. Apply for work trade here.

Schedule

Basket Campers are invited to arrive anytime Thursday May 19 for camp set up, enjoying some time in the woods or the lake, and general settling in.

If you can't arrive Thursday, plan to arrive any time before 9 AM Friday morning.

Official camp welcome and orientation is Friday at 9 AM. Classes will begin at 10 AM. We ask that you please arrive on time for the weekend's opening activities!

After Friday, the daily schedule will look like this:

8 AM Gathering & Breakfast

9 - 12:00  Weaving Time

12:00 - 2:00 Lunch & Siesta

2:00 - 5:30 Weaving Time

5:30 + Dinner, Swimming, Campfire, Bedtime

Campers are welcome to camp Sunday night after wrap up and depart Monday morning, or leave when the weaving day is finished as needed. 

The schedule is meant to be both spacious and focused, allowing for both fun and rejuvenation, physical and mental recovery as you learn, as well as enough work time for students to finish their desired projects. We plan to be flexible with the schedule to meet our needs as teachers and yours as learners.

Food

Campers should plan to bring all the food, dishware, and cookware you'll need for the duration of the weekend. To keep camp cost down and for ease of accommodating many dietary needs, campers will provide their own meals. Group cookfires and dishwashing stations will be available, and campers are welcome to team up with camp neighbors or friends for cooking and meal sharing. 

Anni will be making daily herbal infusions to keep everyone nourished and warm in camp.

The Site

 

Basket Camp is taking place at Zac Fittipaldi's land project on beautiful Tamarack Lake in northern Minnesota, near Sandstone Minnesota. The property is mostly wooded, and campers should be prepared to camp in any of northern Minnesota's unpredictable mid-May weather scenarios.

 

The land is fairly primitive but there is drinking water, an outhouse, a primitive wood fired bathtub, flat ground for camping, a dock with lake access, group cook fires, a cabin with a woodstove for warming up in if need be, and tarped outdoor kitchen / cooking spaces.

 

Camp Culture

Zac & Anni are queer/trans-affirming instructors who intentionally strive to make a space that is safe and welcoming to all who wish to learn these crafts. We invite all campers to join us in this agreement -- to be kind and respectful to one another, to the indigenous land we gather upon, to the plants we work with, to practice consent with one another, and generally cultivate an attitude reverence as we enjoy a weekend of weaving and playing. We celebrate & honor neurodivergence and strive to teach in a way that meets many learning styles and needs.

 

While we want this event to be accessible and welcoming to folks from any and all potentially marginalized backgrounds, weaving the baskets, preparing the materials, and being on the land all require a degree of able-bodiedness that is sadly exclusive to some. Those who are able to attend should plan to take good care of their bodies and bring whatever supports - physical, herbal, medical, etc. - you need to keep yourself healthy and feeling good while partaking in prolonged strenuous activity. 

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the teachers

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Zac Fittipaldi (he/him) is a basketmaker and earth skills enthusiast who lives on the edge of beautiful Tamarack Lake on the border of WI and MN - ancestral home of the Anishinaabe and Ojibwe. He has been weaving and teaching basketry techniques of many kinds for 13 years, with a special focus in Willow and Black Ash. When not weaving and teaching, you can find Zac hunting, trapping, & gathering wild foods in the north woods, making buckskin clothes, or gathering together to make things with friends. 

Anni Zylstra (she/they) is a weaver, musician, and folk-curious queer living on occupied Ho-chunk and Oceti Sakowin lands also known as Driftless Wisconsin.  Anni fell in love with the willows 5 years ago and hasn't stopped weaving since. When not weaving, they can be found in the garden, making bioregional / homegrown plant medicines, learning polyphonic folk songs to sing, teaching music classes, or swaddling Artie the cat.

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