I’ve started gifting the baskets!! Thanks to you all for your support during this journey. Hopefully I’ll get some nice people-with-their-baskets pictures and upload them here.
This basket actually started with a plant.
Here’s a more complex (though about equally as irritating) example of a ribbed basket. This is a traditional 19th-century basket that actually would have been used to transport a hen!
The frame on this one consists of three rings lashed together at the top. The straight piece is simply a temporary brace to keep the two outer rings apart as I weave.
The ribs run alongside the rings and are secured where the three are joined. At first, only two ribs are added.
The reference book I use, Splint Woven Basketry, explains that in the past, not only was a separate key needed for every house door, cabinet, and shed– the keys were also huge. Therefore people hung baskets around the house for the express purpose of keeping keys. This is the basket I chose to undertake today!
It is a ribbed basket, so it varies in style from the ones you have seen on this blog before. Instead of starting with a round or square bottom, the basketmaker must create a frame, and then set ribs into the frame.
The exact style of the frame will vary with different types of ribbed baskets. Because this one is made to hang against the wall, it is constructed from one D-ring (flat on the back, then curved all the way around) and one oval-shaped ring which I fashioned out of flat-oval reed. These two pieces are lashed together with a pattern called a god’s eye– you may have made something like it out of yarn and popsicle sticks in kindergarten.
This is a traditional shaker basket that was typically made with a mold. It’s possible to make it freehand (as I did) with some persistent shaping. This kind of basket would never have color, a patterned weave, or a fancy handle– the elegant shape is supposed to be more than enough to make it special. I tend to agree.
It starts with a simple square bottom, the 1/2″ stakes woven rather tightly.
Check out part one to see how this basket started.
Because of the nature of the twill weave, the stakes rest exactly next to each other and therefore it is impossible to lash the rim with any size reed. I used some sturdy thread and a NEEDLE– this part of the process took longer than the rest of the basket combined.
See more & finished pics after the jump.
This basket is pretty special and turned out beautifully, if I don’t say so myself. It also TOOK FOREVER! As such, I’m breaking it up into two posts so you can all feel the same suspense (frustration?) I felt as I was waiting for it to be finally done.
It is made entirely out of 3/8″ reed, and I started out by cutting about 40 stakes. This is normally a quick and painless part of the process, but it took a long time for this basket since there are so many. Here are all of the cut stakes:
You’ll notice there are two different colors there. That’s the first reason this basket is special– I incorporated smoked reed, which is just what it sounds like; the company smokes the reed to change its color. See what happens when you soak smoked reed after the jump.