holiday decorations often include Christmas stockings.I make mine with woven reed. Using flat
reed, the stocking is started by weaving the beginning of an elbow basket.One side is rounded off to form the toe.The opposite side is woven to the desired
length to form the top of the stocking.Colored reed can be used for accent and formed into a bow. You can fill the stockings with greenery as well.
Christmas right around the corner, the stockings are ready to be hung.
I will be taking part in the Carroll County Artists Studio Tour this weekend. You are invited to visit the studio stops on the tour and to meet the artists and watch many of them demonstrate their craft. Directions to each of the tour stops are found on the Carroll County Artists Studio Tour website www.ccartists.com My baskets will be on display and sale at Studio Tour Stop 12 - Cat Tracks Studio. I will be demonstrating basketweaving throughout the day. I look forward to seeing you this weekend.
I created a reed wreath for the Carroll County Arts Council 15th Annual Festival of Wreaths. The wreath will be on display from Saturday, November 24 until Saturday, December 1st. More than 200 decorated wreaths have been donated for the silent auction to support the arts council. Bids are taken on the wreaths until the close of the show on December 1st.
To begin the wreath, I wove flat reed over-under round reed spokes circling a styrofoam circle base. The wreath resembles the woven sides of an egg or hen basket. To finish the wreath I made a reed ornament with additions of pinecones and cinnamon sticks (see my last post). I also wrapped a piece of wet flat reed around a rod until it dried into a curly strip to add to the wreath. Brown ribbon bows were the final touch.
Baskets find many uses around the home. Hanging baskets can be used as a "catch-all" to hold a variety of items or to hold a bouquet of dried flowers. Baskets woven around a towel bar handle with wooden pegs have many possible uses. Towels, keys, scarfs and more can hang from the pegs.
The splint basket is shaped to match the width of the handle and peg bar. The splints can be various sizes to create a thick and thin pattern as the sides are raised to a desired height. Natural reed can be woven and later stained to a darker tone.
Basketmakers have endless possiblities when designing a basket. Basket shapes, reed colors and weaving patterns can be mixed and matched to create unique baskets reflecting personal preferences and creative ideas.
This week I started a basket base by weaving four different colors in a star pattern. Once the base was appoximately four inches square I started to pull up the sides. I wove the basket in a cat-head style shape. To produce a swirling effect around the basket I wove the sides with an over two and under three twill pattern .
The basket was finished with a inner and outter rim lashed with cane.
Basket makers have traditionally made baskets using whatever material they had available.
In areas with many pine trees, pine needles can be gathered and used to form coil baskets.
Like other basketry materials, the pine needles need to be soaked to become pliable before bending them into a circle to form the base of the basket. Raffia, cane, and linen thread can be used to join one row of pine needles to the next.
I chose to use thin cane to stitch the rings of the coil together. A pattern develops as the basket rings increase the size of the base. Once the base is the desired size, the coils are places on top of the previous row to create the sides of the basket.
. Once the basket is the desired height and shape, the coils are gradually reduced to end the basket.
The Bean Pot Basket’s shape was used by early American
basket makers.These baskets were often
woven using rye straw which was readily accessible.I have used flat reed and flat oval reed to
recreate this design.
Like the gathering basket I made last week this basket also
uses two colors for the splints and has a double bottom. The red spokes are visible on the inside of the basket and the cream spokes are seen on the outside bottom.This
basket’s sides flare out and then taper back to form the desired shape and
size.Two metal loops were added to opposite
spokes before the rim was attached by lashing.The loops allow the metal handle to be attached to the basket and swing freely.
This double bottom round gathering basket wasanother basket I made during my
time at Common Ground 2012 in Joyce Schaum’sSplint Woven Basket class.
The basket begins with eight natural colored splints woven
in a circular web pattern.This becomes
the visible bottom base of the basket.Once the base
is about nine inches in diameter eight colored splints are added on top of the natural colored web.They are woven into the base, alternating
with the natural splints. These colored splints make up the visible inside base of the basket.
The sides are gradually raised up to form a round
container.This basket is eight inches
high and fourteen inches in diameter.I
added two side handles.
This past week I enrolled in a Splint Woven Basket class as
part of Traditions Week 1 of CommonGround on the Hill held at
McDaniel College in Westminster, MD.Each afternoon I joined other basketmakers as we each wove a splint
picnic basket under the direction of Joyce Schaum, a nationally known, award
winning Maryland basketmaker. It is so much fun to make baskets in the company
of others, sharing laughs, tips and techniques.
The functional basket began with weaving a filled 12” x 18”
base with natural colored splints.The
splints were then raised up to form the sides of the basket.I added a decorative pattern using a navy
weaver.Once the sides reached 6 1/2”
high, an inner and outer rim was added and lashed to the basket.The handles were attached to this rim.Four more inches of weaving tapered in and
formed a smaller opening which was rimed and lashed.
A lid is woven separately using both wide splints and narrow
weavers.I added matching navy bands of
color to tie it to the picnic basket.The 13” x 23” lid can also be
used as a low serving tray.
A heart basket starts as a flat reed woven pattern mocking a heart shape. As the sides are turned up the curved humps of the heart are formed with each row added.
Any color reed can be used to weave a heart basket, but I often use red reed for the base. Red helps to emphasize the heart shape and creates an alternating pattern with the natural reed used for the side weavers.
A door knob basket is a simple, flat splint basket to make. It is designed to hang over a knob or hook. It can be filled with any number of items... kitchen tools, dried flowers, hand towels. The list goes on and on.
The simple basket shape can be acented with colored reed bands. Sometimes I add a woodent heart with jute string to give a country touch to the basket.
makers often weave baskets around a mold to form unique shapes.Usually the mold is removed prior to the
finishing of the basket.The exception
to this is when you weave around a glass bottle or vase.Throughout history you can find examples of
woven sleeves covering glass bottles.Below
are two photos of antique reed covered wine and rum bottles I took while
visiting a San Juan distillery on vacation.
I like to
weave around glass vases to create reed covered flower holders. I begin weaving a circular starburst pattern
with round reed to cover the base of the vase.I bend the spokes up to weave tightly around the vase, using various
colored reed to create a variety of color patterns.I
continue to weave around the vase following the shape of the glass.When I reach the top of the vase I complete
the weaving with a decorative rim finishing.
reed covered vase holds water and makes for a color coordinated flower
Recently I took a break from weaving baskets to complete an
entry for the Carroll County Arts Council’s Hubba
Hubba Hub Cap exhibit.Weaving on a
hubcap was a fun change from weaving vessels with reed.I first wove narrow black tubing, brown
ribbon and gold cord around the outer cutout slits of a hubcap.Using wire and beads, I twisted and wove
random freeform sections attached to the hubcap base to complete the sculpture.
For a second hubcap entry I made a mosaic mandella design of glass pebbles,
beads and broken mirrors.
The artist reception is Thursday, June 14 from 5:30 to
7:30pm at the Carroll County Arts Council on Main Street in Westminster. The show runs through August 14.Hope you can come check out all the entries.