One of the most gratifying experiences that I've had in basket weaving is having the opportunity to share my skills with others. This past weekend I was a demonstrator at Horicon Living History days in Horicon, Wisconsin.
This event takes place at the historic Satterlee Clark House and a nearby park and has grown each year of its existence. A special "School Day" is set aside, so that kids from area schools can learn through hands-on experiences about how things were done in the past.
One of the most enjoyable aspects is to talk to kids and engage them in the art itself. Yes, I've learned and tried to memorize a whole lot about basketry in history, but that can get boring. For some kids its enough to know that people couldn't go out to the Super Center to buy everything they needed. They were resourceful folk who learned to make and to grow what was needed, and as they lived day to day they passed down their skills to the younger generation.
As kids came to my demonstration area, I talked to them about what kinds of baskets they use in their homes today and sometimes shared about how materials were gathered and used in the past. Allowing them a chance to weave on a few of the baskets that I had started working on, helped them to see craftsmanship first hand. It helped them to realize how much work it took our ancestors to accomplish their daily tasks.
We sometimes lose sight about what we can learn from those who walked before us, so I'm very thankful for opportunities to share my skills with others, learn new things that I can pass along to others and in turn give to the community in which I live.