Aaron Yakim

born Charleroi, PA 1949
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Aaron Yakim (Harvesting White Oak for Basketmaking), Photo by Cynthia W. Taylor
Charleroi, Pennsylvania, United States
  • American

Aaron Yakim learned how to make traditional white oak baskets through an informal apprenticeship with a fifth-generation basketmaker from West Virginia. He refined his skills with basketmaking workshops at Cedar Lakes Craft Center in West Virginia. Yakim combines what he learned from these different sources to create his own, unique interpretations of the traditional Appalachian basketmaking styles and techniques. He shares a workshop with fellow basketmaker and partner, Cynthia Taylor, but considers West Virginia's white oak forests to be his real studio.

Related Books

A Measure of the Earth
A Measure of the Earth provides an window into the traditional basketry revival of the past fifty years. Nicholas Bell’s essay details the longstanding use of traditional fibers, such as black ash, white oak, willow, and sweetgrass and the perseverance of a select few to harvest these elements—the land itself—for the enrichment of daily life. Drawing on conversations with basketmakers from across the country and reproducing many of their documentary photographs, Bell offers an intimate glimpse of their lifeways, motivations, and hopes. Lavish illustrations of every basket in the exhibition convey the humble, tactile beauty of these functional vessels.