Saturday, November 24, 2007

Baskets Galore

In my free time during the last month I've been working on three different types of basket. It's been especially enjoyable to work on them because I've been teaching Rosy how to make them and we've been working together.

In gathering the material I've been very opportunistic. Some of the material I brought home from hitches we've worked on. Others I've gathered in town. Since almost all the material is from live plants, I've also had the opportunity to practice caretaking. I try not to take the best piece, but the one that being removed, makes the environment better.

The first basket of the three I contructed from pine needles. It's my first pine needle basket. I gathered the needles from the Northern Red Pine tree in my front yard. The basket consists of a coil of pine needles bundled together with thread. I suppose if I wanted the basket to be composed completely of primitive material I could have used yucca fibers instead of thread. These pine needles were very dry and brittle so I had to use green needles at the start where more bending was required.

The basket before I started taking the coil vertical

I wove together the second basket from yucca leaves that we cut during our second hitch. The leaves pointed out over the trail and needed to be trimmed back. Since we only cut them back as far as needed, the longest pieces were only about 18 inches long. We had a lot of them though so I played around and came up with this small basket in about an hour. It is my first woven basket. This type of yucca is very dry, thin and stiff and not ideal for basketry or cordage even after soaking in water.

My last basket is a melon basket. This is the third I've made of this style. The material for this one came from many species and locations. The wood rings comprising the handle and rim are scrub oak from hitch two. The darker colored yucca near the sides of the basket is the same as in the basket above. One wooden spoke is from an unknown tree in my back yard and the other came from sycamore gathered on a hike in Riverside, CA. The roots making up the God's Eye lashing on the sides were pulled during hitch three. Finally the yucca making up the middle of the basket came from the hills by home. I'm pleased with the basket's balance. It sits without leaning like my previous baskets of this style.

Here you can see the God's Eye lashing.


Anonymous said...

Rad baskets dude.
Try another couple ribs on the butt basket and it should round it out nicely.


Owen said...

very nice baskets! i made a god's eye basket a few years ago under the tutelage of Jeff Gotlieb

Sassmouth said...

Cool, I saw Jeff about four years ago at the MAPS meet. I think he was teaching firemaking at the time.

fooiemcgoo said...

while basketweaving is probably the least interesting thing in the world, i have to admit that the last one was really cool and looked hard to make. good work dude! please make me a coinpurse.

Farmer de Ville said...

Very nice. Just wish I could find the patience to make my own foraging baskets...


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