Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Gather | Swamp Road Baskets

Jamin Uticone seeks out the Swamp Ash of Upper Upstate New York and coaxes out Adirondack-style baskets from within.  He hand pounds, cuts, shaves and shapes each basket splint -- a craft, he says, "is as much an art as the basket making itself."  He learned his splinting and weaving style during a six year apprenticeship with master basket maker Jonathan Kline of Trumansburg, New York.  Today Uticone adorns his Swamp Road pack baskets and strapped carriers with bridle leather and brass fittings and treats the wood with a blend of citrus and linseed oils.  Screw those little totes, this is how one should carry his/her organic potatoes/cherry tree branches/berries/corn/truffles out of the woods (or Whole Foods).

Also known as the Black Ash, these trees are found in “rare pockets of cool bottomland spanning from the Great Lakes, east to Maine, and from Virginia north through Canada, where some of the oldest weavers still practice the art...”

Full Pack, $975

The smaller Urban Pack, $650

11 comments:

Blushing hostess said...

I adore everything abou thtis post. The basket is magnificent. And I enjoy shooting skeet - which would surprise everyone who knows me - but may I add to your list: They should also wear dresses with waists... Be well.

dr. hypercube said...

Needs a tumpline! I was talking to a Penobscot elder a few years ago who was unhappy that the best pack basket maker he knew had switched to using plastic shipping strapping instead of ash (though there's something to be said for the repurposing). Nice to see real pounded ash still in use. (http://www.hawkdog.net/wordpress/archives/237)

Paul Pincus said...

the urban pack is a great beauty. this is incredible work.

Laura [What I Like] said...

that is really quite extraordinary! I feel the need to buy a baguette and bottle of wine to stick in there for consumption in the middle of a forest walk.

acrossthepond said...

Absolutely wonderful! It is so good to learn about people who practise such high craftsmanship; artists who have learnt and developed increasingly rare skills.
ps - I love your blog! i recently discovered it via a link on Admiral Cod.

David said...

I find it hard to believe anyone could find anything to use these for other than as decoration and even then......

Hollister H. Hovey said...

I actually discovered these on the back of a gal in Brooklyn. She had the urban pack -- just the perfect size.

David said...

To contain her urbanity?

james at 10engines said...

love adirondack packs. those are lux.

The Fab Miss B said...

Beautiful. these remind me of the Wind in the Willows and Frog and Toad.

Design Scouting said...

these are delicious!