rewilding author, teacher, & catalyst

Category: Tools

From Mullet to Monet

mullet.jpg

My mullet started to get out of hand, and I felt that the time had come to cut it off. As my hair dresser (yes, I enjoy the experience of other people cutting my hair) cut it she jokingly asked me if I wanted to save a bit of it for magic or something. I remembered that I’ve wanted to make a paintbrush for making Rewild Camp name tags for some time now, and so I said “YES!”

Read More

English Ivy Basket #2

basketry_books.jpg

I’ve taken a few basket classes now, and of all the twining basketry books I think the two pictured above have the best information for newbies; great pictures and illustrations.  So many books on basketry read like mathematic equations; lots and lots of strange vocabulary with no accompanying photographs or drawings. Even so, I think I may have a WAYK “technique: dictionary addiction” but with field guides and how-to manuals. I looked in the book once, instead of looking at a previously made basket, and it fucked me up.

Read More

Willow Soaking Pool

This year I’ve really felt inspired to work on baskets. The key to building fluency with any skill starts with a good “setup”. Aside from having the materials to make a basket, you need a soaking pool to make them soft and moveable again after drying. Since I don’t live near a natural body of water, I built this soaking-pool in my backyard with old pallets that I pulled apart, a few screws, my screw gun/drill and a big tarp. It doubles as a mosquito incubation chamber. Fun!

willow_pool.jpg

English Ivy Bike Basket

ivy_bike_basket.jpg

Everyone talks shit on English Ivy; its invasive behavior has given it a bad rap. A while ago I started to feel empathy for the plant and wonder what kind of relationship I could begin to have with the plant, other than pulling it off of native trees and letting it rot in an ugly pile on the side of a trail.

Read More

Black Walnuts For Food and Dye

 walnut_basket.jpg

Today I finally gathered some Black Walnuts. I’ve been watching them for weeks now, ever since I got my traps. I never really thought I would get into dyeing things but then when I got my traps, I read online that I should dye them first, with Black Walnut husk.

Read More

Fireweed and Nettle Harvest

scout_fireweed.jpg

I went out the other day with Willem and harvested a whole bunch more fireweed as well as nettles for this next year. I’m going to process even more for my own projects but I want to save a bunch and do another cordage skill share at Echoes in Time next summer. I’m going to save some nettle for that too. I generally cut the stalk as close to the ground as possible and then strip the leaves off by running the stalk along my hand, either with a bandanna or wearing gloves. I do this with both nettles and fireweed. Once they dry I will put more pictures up on how to process them into fiber that you can spin into cord.

Read More

My Roadkill Coonskin Cap

coonskincap.jpg

A couple months ago, while traveling to a friends property in the early morning, I came across two roadkill raccoons within a few hundred yards of each other. One female with a light tan color, the other a male with a darker grayish tint. Each one small and juvenile, and not even a shred of a winter coat. Poor little creatures most likely died instantly since they both lay in the middle of the road. I picked them up and took them to my friends where we skinned them and ate their meat. Raccoon legs taste amazing, if you ever get the chance, seriously try it. I don’t quite know what to do with organ meats yet, so we left the rest of the carcasses for the coyotes or other scavengers.

Read More

Agriculture Vs. Rewilding

 

In order to understand the destructive nature of agriculture you must understand the phases of ecological succession. Ecological succession refers to the phases of growth from barren rock to a climax forest. The loss of biodiversity that creates a blank slate generally occurs through a disturbance such as fire, flood, volcanic eruptions, etc.
Read More