Nieland's Willow Baskets
Nieland was well known for the fine willow baskets he made for
everyday use around the house and farm. Lorraine Starman remembers
that she and her mother used them to gather eggs.
photo of one of Henry's baskets was taken by Kay Davis. According
to Kay, "he would make them in the spring as he prepared
for the year of gardening. They were used for all kinds of household
tasks before we all had grocery sacks to recycle. You can get
an idea of the size from the apples, but it measures 10 inches
high and the oval shape is 12 1/2 by 14 or so. I think it's made
of willow, with maybe the handle of another wood, maybe hazel
nut. Those materials would be found in the same kind of wet places
in the Iowa countryside.
I was a girl, this was on a hook in Grandma Wittry's wash house.
What a treasure trove that was for a curious kid! Grandpa Wittry
had tools and woodworking stuff down at the office basement or
in the garage, so the wash house just had storage for the house.
I remember the smell of apples wrapped in catalogue pages for
storage and the Hoosier cabinet in the corner, with the flour
bin and the sugar sifter still in it."
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