How to Work
With Black Ash Woodsplint
Splint from the Black Ash tree (Fraxinus nigra)
is a popular basketry woodsplint material. When weaving with black ash woodsplint, you
should keep the following things in mind.
Difficulty Level: Average
Time Required: Variable
- Black ash splint is a wood product and as such will have inherent qualities that will
need consideration, including grain.
- Run your hand along the length of each splint to check for defects before using.
- Routinely grade out all but the most minor of defects.
- Determine which side you want to show to the outside of the basket. Double satin black
ash splint does not have a bad side.
- Most weavers will not require thinning down (grading) when two overlap at joins. Thin
when necessary, so that the two layers do not create a noticeable bulge.
- When you start a new weaver, overlap both old and new weaver over at least a spoke count
of 4 and conceal the ends.
- The splint should be worked moist enough to remain flexible, but keep in mind that the
splint swells on its width when wet, so that the wetter you have it, the more it will
shrink up as it dries.
- Allow yourself enough time for the weaving to dry thoroughly before turning down and
tucking the spokes, so that shrinkage will not cause problems
- Black Ash is also called Brown Ash, hoop ash, swamp ash, water ash, basket ash, wikp
(Maliseet), Wiskoq (Micmac) and FrÍne noir (Que).
- Black Ash woodsplint has a beautiful satiny sheen that requires no other finish than
careful handling of the finished basket.