This was a pretty complicated repair - four people have worked on this basket: 2019 Teen Science Scholar Madison Hylland, volunteer Kirsten Reusch, conservation technician Kathryn Reusch, and 2020 Teen Science Scholar Meena Kim.
This Mescalero Apache basket came into the Avenir Collections Center Conservation Laboratory as part of the IMLS American Ethnology Collections Grant. The coiling is made of very fine slats of wood bent into a circular shape and held in place by yucca weft material. Over time, the wood has started to straighten and has been breaking through the grassy weft rim pieces. Strips of Japanese rice paper were toned to match the basket with Golden Artist colors, the loose end of the wood coiling was realigned with the rim of the basket, and the strips were secured to the basket with rice starch paste to hold the loose rim end and other loose sections of rim coiling in place. The repair will minimize further damage to the basket during future handling.