This past Saturday I had the opportunity to teach weaving to a small group of beginning weavers. It's always an enjoyable experience to meet new people and share my skills with them.
I love to see how each person's basket is somewhat the same and yet unique from all the others. That said, I think that one of the most difficult things for the new weaver is the shaping of a basket. Today I wanted to do a short tutorial on basket shaping that may help some of my new weaver friends.
A couple weeks ago I did this tall wall basket that has nearly straight up sides.
While this is a taller basket, the sides are mostly straight up and down because the stakes are parallel up the sides of the basket. It is important not to pull too tight as you round the corners and that you check your weaving frequently to make sure that the stakes have equal distance in between. In addition, as I weave up the sides, I like to straighten my stakes every couple of rows so that they are perpendicular to the base.
The next photo shows a woven wastebasket that has been flared through the center by by pulling those stakes apart, and weaving with less tension. The top stakes are closer together.
On this bag keeper basket I brought the stakes together by pushing them inward as I wove to create the almost "funnel" shape to hold my plastic bags in. I actually had to taper those stakes with my scissors in order to bring them together as close as possible and still get my weaver through.
This pair of baskets were shaped by bringing the stakes a bit closer on each row, especially the very sides.
Here we have a bit of flare as they are pulled outward and apart.
Now we have a little bit of a combination to get the flare through the center to make a more unique vase shape.
As you practice and gain confidence as a weaver, you'll be able to use these techniques to create the kind of shape that you desire for your handwoven baskets.
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy weaving today!