I am involved in a fun project with many different students in the up and coming weeks-cedar root baskets. We are going to be doing a split coil variety that I learned from some native weavers here. We are going to go harvest the Cedar roots and process them next week.
One question had for any of you weavers out there is what time of year do you harvest them? I am curious about regional (West Coast WA to BC) differences and preferences to harvest time. I have harvested them in the winter, fall, spring and summer. I have noticed when you process them in the spring/summer, the outer layers do slip a little better. Still, some of the famous native weavers I have talked to here in the PNW say that does not matter what time of year; that they are a little harder to clean in the winter but "no big deal."
Also, I have never heated my materials to help in processing. I have seen this in Hilary Stewart's amazing book Cedar and I wondered if anyone has experience with this? Thanks for your input!
i have no exp weaving (outside some willow workshop i took) but i do in peeling bark and heatbending wood.
when you want to peel bark, its always best to cut the branch(or root in this case) in spring when the sap is running just under the bark, it will peel right off usually then depending on type of tree,leaving a nice slick velvety skin to the wood.
heating the wood will ease in bending,the wood has to still be green/wet or at least fairly so. guess it's equivelent to "steam-bending" basically. you'd normally bend it around a form. this is how they make windsor chairs