English Ivy Basketry
“English Ivy is an invasive, introduced plant species which damages our forests by reducing biodiversity and negatively impacting native wildlife. It is fabulous to see this weed removed from our natural areas and transformed into a productive, creative item!”
Rachel Felice, Westside Stewardship Coordinator, Portland Parks and Recreation
“In my eleven years of teaching basketry to ninth grade students I was always searching for a way to use living materials that were familiar to them. Peter is a pioneer in the use of English Ivy as a basketry material. The students performed community service while doing Ivy removal from Forest Park thus harvesting the very material they would use to create their baskets in class. Peter brought a rich experience to my students, he is a colorful personality and wonderful guest teacher.”
Katherine Pomeroy, Handcrafts Teacher at the Portland Waldorf School
English Ivy Basketry is one of our signature programs here at Rewild Portland. At our 1-day workshop you will learn to weave a simple basket out of the invasive species Hedera helix, otherwise known as English Ivy. Restore and maintain the native habitat of our city parks by removing the ivy and then recycling the cast off vines into a functional work of art. In the morning we will learn how to gather ivy, how to prevent it from growing back, and begin weaving our baskets. The afternoon will focus solely on weaving the baskets.
Most environmentalists consider English Ivy the bane of ecological preservation and restoration. Brought to North America long ago by the invasive culture of the English, it has lived in the Willamette Valley and various places around North America ever since. At this point it has naturalized itself so deeply in the landscape that most people have realized that the battle to completely remove it is hopeless, and now all we can do is manage it through continuous removal done by volunteer efforts.
By giving people multiple reasons to pull ivy, ie: restore ecology and do-it-yourself crafts like weaving a stylish, artsy bicycle basket for your trip to the organic grocery store, they will be more likely to actually get out and help the removal and maintenance of this plant. Perhaps people will stop putting their hate into a plant and learn to respect it for the gifts that it has to offer us.
If you would like to request us to come teach English Ivy Baskets at your school or with your club, send up a message: