Bill Mackowski Traditionals

Pack Baskets, Snowshoes, Fishing Creels

Thank you for your interest in this website and my work.

For 50 years, I have been blessed with an innate curiosity and a wonderment of Nature and all her mysteries.  As a boy, this fascination drew me, not only to the woods and farm fields of Western Pennsylvania, but also to seeking out the "old-timers," as I called them.  These were salt-of-the-earth, seasoned woodsmen, always eager to share their stories, and it was from them that I learned to appreciate the must-have tools of a young woodsman/sportsmen...A good pair of snowshoes, a sturdy pack basket, and or course, a sizable fishing creel...for all the fish I'd be catching!

The traditions and importance of these tools, along with the woods skills I learned, would become as important a part of my outdoor life as my later training as a wildlife biologist.

For the last 35 years, I have enjoyed the good fortune to have lived and worked in the woods of Northern Maine, as well as traveling throughout the Northeast, and all across Northern Canada.  From Labrador to the Yukon, and Minnesota to the Gaspe of Quebec.

A good part of those years of travel was all about learning more of the history and the crafting of these fascinating and traditional much a part of the heritage of the north woods, yet quickly becoming lost to convenience.

Over time, I have been unbelievably fortunate to have had many extremely talented craftsman, woodsmen, and artists share with me their skills and talents.  Each of the different woods crafts that you will see here is a reflection of these patient and knowledgeable teachers.  As you look through this site, you will see how diverse and fascinating these crafts can be.  Each one is unique in its own right, yet but a piece of the heritage and traditions of the North.

My hope is that you will enjoy seeing these reflections of the past as much as I have enjoyed crafting and learning about them.