Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hen Basket

The Hen Basket gets its name from its original function.  Farmers used to take their hens to market in this style of basket. Not many people have such a need anymore, but the basket continues to be a favorite style for basket makers to weave.

The basket symmetrical style makes for an attractive holder of yarn or dyed flowers.  I used variegated shades of violet for the Hen Basket below.   

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Footed Basket

The footed rectangle basket follows a traditional Shaker style.  The sides are woven tightly while the base has open spaces to allow for air movement.  The design makes the basket perfect for drying wool, storing onions or potatoes or holding most any item you wish.

The rim allows for hand holes to easily lift and carry the basket.  I like to add color to the basket in a variety of patterns. Any combination of colored reed and widths of reeds can be woven in the side to make each basket a distinctive, unique design.  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What Those Who Teach Can Do

The Art Institutes system of schools is honoring art educators around the country with a month long exhibition of their personal artwork.   I was invited to participate in the gallery show hosted by The Art Institute of Washington.  As a public school art educator I strive to encourage my students creativity and impact student learning by modeling lifelong learning, problem solving, persistence and craftsmanship in my personal artwork.

I teach digital photography and commercial art at school, so I chose to include a digital collage titled Basket Treasures as one of my entries.  It combines my interest in travel photography and basketry by showing a variety of my baskets and a photo I took on one of my vacation trips.   

My second entry is a hanging vessel made from woven reed and a gourd top.  It includes round and flat reed in shades of violet, greens and cream and a walnut slice.  The free-form vessel breaks away from traditional basketry shapes.

The opening reception is this Thursday,  April 19th from
5:00pm until 7:00pm at The Art Institute of Washington Gallery of Art located at 1820 North Fort Myer Drive in Arlington, VA. 
I hope you can make this event and help celebrate the ARTS.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cat's Head Basket

Spring time is in the air and it is the perfect time to weave an “Easter Basket”.  I chose a traditional style Shaker cat’s head basket to be my starting point.  While this basket is typically made on mold and in natural color only, I shaped the basket freehand and used 6 different colors to form the square base of the basket and spokes.   I wove a cream reed in a twill pattern around the sides forming a circular shape while pushing up the bottom and pulling down the corners to points.   Once the basket was the height and circumference I desired, I added a handle and rim to finish the basket.

The cream and multicolored basket looks light, airy and the perfect shape to fill with Easter goodies. 

Why is this basket called a cat’s head basket?     Hint…….If you turn the basket upside down you can see the pointy corners look like ears on a cat’s head.