Jeffrey Gale has been a traditional basketmaker since 1982. He works with 19th-Century hand tools in his old-fashioned workshop. His baskets are made completely from a White Ash tree. He works slowly and carefully, crafting every basket to be functional, strong, and beautiful.
His hand-pounded splint baskets are completely handmade in every sense of the word. Sitting on his shaving horse, he uses his drawknife and spoke shave to carve his rims and handles and smooth his splints for weaving. Every basket is made from a White Ash tree that is cut in local forests and worked while the wood is still fresh.
Gale’s work has been featured in many museums and magazines. He has dedicated his life to preserving this essential part of our rural heritage for future generations.
Artists appearing in the 20201 Directory of Traditional American Crafts have been selected, and the best of their handiwork has been photographed at Cedar Grove, an 18th Century house museum operated by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Look for the Directory in our August 2021 issue.
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