Aaron Yakim

USA Ford Fellow, 2011
Credits: Egg Baskets, 2004; © Robert Batey Photography

Basketmaker Aaron Yakim works with white oak to create rustic rib baskets. He learned the craft in 1979 while apprenticing with fifth-generation basketmaker Oral "Nick" Nicholson of West Virginia. Yakim harvests his materials from the local forest, using hand tools to split the wood into flexible thin strips, which he then manipulates by hand into vessel forms without the use of molds. His innovations include a framework design for creating a swing-handled rib basket and an interwoven hinged lid.