Basketmaking Demos & Workshops

Fred Tomah, Photo by Anna Travers
In the next week, the Abbe Museum will be hosting two basket demonstrations and one two-day workshop. 
We hope that you can join us for one of these exciting programs!

Friday, July 27: Ash Fancy Basket Demonstration

11:00 - 3:00, Included with Regular Admission

Fred Tomah, Maliseet, will be demonstrating his unique style of basketmaking using ash splints.  Fred’s characteristic style differs from other Wabanaki basketmakers, and his work is truly one of a kind.  His baskets are in the collections of the Abbe Museum and the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian.  Fred will have completed baskets on display, and will be working on a basket throughout the day.  Tools and raw materials will be on display as well.  This demonstration will occur at the Downtown Abbe Museum, and is included with regular admission to the museum.  This program is made possible by the support of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust and Maine Arts Commission.

Wednesday, August 1: Ash Basketmaking Demonstration
11:00 - 3:00, FREE

George Neptune
George Neptune, Passamaquoddy, is a young basketmaker who comes from a prominent basketmaking family.  He learned from his grandmother, Molly Neptune Parker, and has been weaving most of his life.  George has created a signature style that includes sculptural elements of woven birds, nests, branches, and flowers.  This demonstration will occur outside the Abbe Museum at Sieur de Monts Spring and is free and open to the public.  In the event of inclement weather, the demonstration will take place in the Orientation Gallery of the Downtown Abbe Museum.  Please call the Abbe that day if you have questions about weather: 207-288-3519.  This program is presented in partnership with Acadia National Park.

Thursday & Friday, August 2 & 3:  Birch Bark Basket & Etching Workshop
10:00 - 4:00, Both Days.  Registration required.  Abbe members: $75. Non-members: $120 (includes individual membership to the Abbe Museum). 

Participants will work with artist and canoe builder David Moses Bridges, Passamaquoddy, to make a folded birch bark basket and then etch the basket using David’s stencils, or create designs of their own.  Folded birch bark baskets were used to store food and other items, and have been made for centuries by the Wabanaki.  Participants will learn how to fold the bark and lash it together using the roots from a spruce tree, and make a lid for the basket. On the second day, participants will finish work on their baskets and then etch designs into them.  For more information, or to register, please call (207) 288-3519 or email Raney.