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I went to a basket-making workshop by Polly Sutton, who specializes in cedar bark baskets and has one of her many fabulous baskets on the book “500 Baskets.” I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of Polly or her baskets that were there for us to drool over. We were busy making our own baskets. Here is the start—a 5-3-1 twill according to Polly.

the twill base

the twill base

We then started twining with black ash and two wire weavers at the same time making a cat’s head shape to the base. This was smaller than I usually tend to weave, but pretty do-able under Polly’s patient tutelage. All the other weavers were making lovely baskets, too.

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Now, it’s day 2. This is after an 8 hr day of weaving and at least two more hours in the hotel at night. (a bath afterwards helped to ease out the kinks)  We wet the stakes and left the basket with the stakes out to help with the next step of the shaping. I didn’t do my rim out as much as some. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The corners of the bottom of the basket are the “cat’s head” part. Really, it should be called “cat’s ears”. I like this next picture–you can see the sparkles of the wire and it’s always fun to look inside a basket that you are making.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The finished basket with a Fold, lash and flip rim. I finally learned that. The inside part is the black ash. This is the first time I’ve used this material…really lovely, for sure. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We made a cute top for it the second day—I will have to post again with those pictures. For now, the final picture is of a group of baskets from our group. We all were happy and look at all the cool baskets. One has the top done, so I probably won’t post another about the top. The teeny-tiny woven stem was good to do on day two. If we had tried on day one, I think we might have been a bit too stressed. I am always amazed how different peoples baskets come out–yet all so cool.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Of course, this has nothing to do with baskets except that they were created with and of inspiration by my basket group. Sometimes someone gets an idea other than basketry and decides to share it with the group.(being creative people that we are.) Sheila Tasker was taught this at a basket retreat by Rae Hunter and decided to teach the rest of us. It was a fun way to pass the time and some fun results, too.

There are many tutorials on the net to lead you step-by-step. Zippers are available at thrift stores and your local fabric store. Using a matching tread seemed to be a key point. Enjoy gathering your friends and making some.

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I’ve had a lovely weekend doing basket stuff. This is the time of year when the sap is flowing on our lovely trees and we can harvest the bark for basket making. Donna, Patricia and I went to Jeff and Teri’s lovely woods by their home and were gifted with some cherry and maple logs to remove the bark from. These were trees that had some amount of disease and were slated to be removed by Jeff and Teri, so we felt that it was a win-win for all.

On Sunday a few people from our group met at Donna’s and did a bark basket and more harvesting from Donna’s willow. Donna taught us how to do a “triangle start” with the willow bark after it was stripped into 1/2 inch strips. Some people already knew this, but I had never done it. It is very simple but a bit magic in that you sort-of fold the weaving like you might an Origami animal. I wish I had taken more pictures now that I’m writing in the blog so you could see what I mean, but I get taken away with the moment of weaving and don’t want to bother my friends with constant picture-taking. You all know what I mean.  Anyway, the completed basket is below and I like the colors. All was done with willow. the light colored weave is the inner bark of the willow, the green is full-thickness.  The handle is from cordage made from some lilly leaves last year. The colors are perfect together. Thanks for looking and reading(if you made it to the end). I’ll take pictures soon of some of the cherry bark we did on Saturday…this is all for now….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My sister, Sarina, asked me to make her a basket for the napkins that she likes to keep on her dining room table. The only requirement was for her 6″x6″ napkins fit nicely into it. She let me do the rest as desired.

There were pineneedles dropping at the time she asked me and I decided to use them in the rim—just bundled and sewn on.

The napkins even fit and she likes it!

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A memory basket

This basket was created with a friend in mind who has recently lost her father. I thought of it as a place to write things to her father’s spirit, put photos,etc. It turned out bigger than I meant, but then she may just have LOTS of memories of her dear father.

The base getting started….ImageImageImage

Here’s a fairly large random-weave basket. It’s fun, but harder for me than it looks. I like the whimsical nature of these baskets. Not much for function, but not everything has to be useful, right?

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and another view….

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One more basket…using reed, which is always nice when you just want to “jump in” to a basket without all the soaking that is involved with willow.

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a view of the inside…..Image

It was fun to get that one done. I enjoyed doing the border, too.

Latest Baskets

Here’s another basket following my interest in bark and I liked the sculptural effect of it. I like the lights in it, but it could be any favorite things that you like to have peeking out. Wool roving? Shells?

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and with lights….

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A big willow basket. The close-up is of the slewing.

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And now for the slewing….looks refined in the buff willow..

 

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