There is a great sense of accomplishment when you start out on a project and it turns out even better than expected. Today I wanted to share a little bit about my latest basket project and perhaps you'll want to try one of your own.
You may need to familiarize yourself with some of the techniques of wicker weaving and one of the best ways to do that, in my opinion, are the excellent books by Flo Hoppe. Maybe I've said this before, but I checked out Flo's book, Contemporary Wicker Basketry, oodles of times before I actually decided to try some wicker work. It wasn't until the beginning of this year that I finally purchased a copy of another book by Flo, Wicker Basketry. In addition to that, I purchased her spiral weaving instructional video from the National Basketry Organization. I think this really was the turning point where I said, "I really need to try this!"
I'm really enjoying this journey and try to add a new technique each time I do a basket. Today I used the four over four overlaid base, Japanese weave, 3 rod arrow, twining, and a basic rolled border. Some of these techniques I already knew, but they all came together for a sweet little basket.
My purpose in weaving this basket was to make a jar cover and up cycle some of the glass jars that we get when we purchase some of our favorite fruit spread. They aren't quite like a Mason Jar pint, but they're almost the same size and would work great for a little flower vase except for the fact that they're kind of on the plain side.
The project began with eight pieces of #5 round reed. I did the 4 over 4 overlaid base. After four rounds with a #3 round weaver to secure the slath, I started the Japanese weave base (over 2, under 1, separating the spokes as I went along) This is really a very easy technique. One piece of advice would be to keep your work around the base as tight as possible. I'm not perfect at it yet, but it's getting better. You also want to dome up the base toward the inside of the basket.
When I got to about three inches of weaving on the base, I ended it and then upstaked the sides. I held this in place with a elastic hairband at the top until I was ready to start working on the sides. Yep, I sprayed the stakes with water while my jar was in there. Oops!
Now comes the fun part, trying different techniques for the sides. I did a three rod arrow at the bottom, twining through the center, arrow accent row, and five more rows of twining. I finished it off with a basic rolled border. While weaving I did quite a bit of shaping to give the basket a little belly and then curve it outward at the top. It's pretty subtle, but I like the gentle curve.
For the stain I mixed Ebony and Red Oak Minwax. The ceramic button is from Glaze Girl Designs on Etsy. I'm already thinking about weaving another basket like it, and using a white wash on it.
So glad you stopped by today! Hope you'll check out my summer schedule of demonstrations and classes. If you are in southeastern Wisconsin and enjoy living history, you won't want to missHoricon Living History Days, May 6-8, 2016. In addition to a beautiful historic home, a school house and outbuildings, there will be spinning, basketry, a black smith, candle making, daily living demonstrations and so much more!
Until next time...have a great time weaving!