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Black Ash Splint

Steve passed away in September 2023, and the splint business is on hold while JoAnn figures out how to move forward. 


Black ash grows mainly in the Northeast and there are only a handful of basketmakers who process and sell black ash splint. About 10 years ago JoAnn and her husband Steve began processing their own black ash splint to guarantee a reliable supply of high-quality material for JoAnn's baskets and classes.

While JoAnn is a full-time basketmaker and teacher, and Steve is a retired building contractor, they find the time to harvest and process the black ash splint from trees near their home in the northern Catskill Mountains of New York state. From time to time, they also enlist the help of their three children. They work out of their woodworking shop, where they also make all of the pine molds and hardwood handles and rims needed for JoAnn's many designs.


Harvesting & Processing black ash splint

Here is a brief slideshow about harvesting black ash trees and processing them into splint. 


The black ash tree (Fraxinus nigra) grows primarily in New England, in the wet soils of cold swamps. JoAnn and Steve Catsos are continuously harvesting and processing black ash trees with the help of their three children.

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