Weaving Nature with Melinda West - Small Ribbed Gift Basket

  • Saturday, September 03, 2022
  • Saturday, September 10, 2022
  • 2 sessions
  • Saturday, September 03, 2022, 9:00 AM 4:00 PM (PDT)
  • Saturday, September 10, 2022, 9:00 AM 4:00 PM (PDT)
  • Offsite and BARN Fiber Studio, Class Code FI090322MW
  • 0


Registration is closed

2 small ribbed basketsSince time immemorial Pacific Northwest landscapes have provided an abundance of native plant fiber resources for use by Coast Salish weavers.

With today’s forests, wetlands, and open spaces greatly diminished, where can we sustainably gather plant fiber materials now? And how do we prepare, store, and use these materials as artists and makers? 

Join plant fiber weaver Melinda West for a day of gathering materials and a day of weaving them into a Small Ribbed Gift Basket. 

Small ribbed basket filled with materials

Saturday, September 3

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Meet  offsite

Come in your gathering attire, with garden gloves, scissors, pruners, and a bag or bucket for your materials. You will learn to identify, harvest, and prepare, various native, introduced, and invasive plant fibers. 

In the afternoon we will meet in the BARN Fiber Arts Studio to prep materials. 

Then you’ll have a week to take this knowledge and look around your own gardens and neighborhoods, and to gather plant fibers within your reach in a respectful way.

Saturday, September 10

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Meet at BARN in the Fiber Arts Studio.

You will learn the fundamentals of ribbed basketry construction and weave a Small Ribbed Gift Basket using the grasses/leaves, branches, stems, vines, roots, runners and barks you have gathered.

Our finished class basket will be approximately: 10”hx 8”w x 8”d, though some of you may have time to set-up another basket frame that you can complete on your own.


Students should wear comfortable work clothes, protective shoes, garden gloves and should bring pruners and garden scissors, a bucket and an old towel for soaking and mellowing materials.

The instructor will supply examples of supplemental materials to show how to prepare different types of materials. BARN will supply tools used to construct the baskets.


  • All-Levels/Beginning
  • Students will be going into the field for the first class session and should be prepared for associated risks. Students will need to bushwhack safely and are likely getting scratched or dirty. There are also the possibilities of any of the usual dangers of being out in nature, or working with sharp tools, ie: bee stings, sunburn, twisted ankle, dehydration, cuts, etc.
  • Please click here for BARN's current COVID-19 health & safety protocols. 
  • BARN is committed to accessibility. Tuition Assistance is available - click here to fill out the simple application before registering for a class. For those who might need physical assistance, please learn about BARN's Companion Program here.


Melinda WestMelinda West, of Indianola Washington, has been practicing the art of plant fiber weaving since 1985.  She has studied with many native and non-native weavers and artists, the foremost being Ed Carriere of the Suquamish Tribe.  Her inspiration comes from nature and the First Peoples of the Pacific Northwest whose cultures embrace the rich traditions of natural fiber use; knowledge in the land; and artistic skills development in all aspects of life.  Melinda enjoys sharing her passion for weaving and exploratory art-making; natural history; environmental stewardship; and an appreciation of Indigenous cultures and their traditional ecological knowledge. She has taught at the Seattle Art Museum, Olympic College, Coupeville Art Center, North Cascades Institute, Olympic Park Institute, IslandWood, Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network, and elsewhere.  Melinda’s award winning art is on display in public and private collections, and her work has been featured in books and magazines. You can learn more about Melinda's basket weaving career at melindawest.com.

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