Sunday, May 20, 2012

Miniature Cheese Basket

Baskets can be woven in most any size and shape.  In my last post I shared the biggest basket I have made - a 26 in diameter melon basket.  Miniature baskets can be made as well.

I wove a 2.5 inch diameter cheese basket with its open hexagonal design base around a miniature wooden mold.  The splints are only 1/8inch wide.

A full size traditional Shaker cheese basket was designed to be used in the production of cheese making to separate curd from whey. The basket was lined with cheese cloth and the curds were poured into the basket. The holes allowed for the moisture to drain out as the curds compacted. This function dictated the design of the basket.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

My BIG Basket

Today is Mother's Day and I am taking a stroll down memory lane. For me this includes sharing a basket memory.

Nearly 25 years ago a woodworker challenged me to make a basket using two 26" diameter wooden hoops he had made. I accepted the dare and made a huge melon basket.  It was big enough that both of my young children could fit in it.  A reporter wrote an article about my baskets for the local paper and included the family photo below.

I still have my BIG basket.  It is stained a darker brown, but otherwise it doesn't look to have aged at all. (I can't say the same for me!)  

Kate poses with the basket today.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Multi-Colored Egg Basket

Traditional basket makers from the Appalachian mountains begin the process of making an egg basket by searching for a tall straight oak tree about 6 inches in diameter.  Once found, the tree is cut and the tedious task of cutting the wood into splints, weavers and handles by hand begins.  The resulting woven twin bottom egg basket is a natural color.

Like most contemporary basket makers I skip the tree search and preparation of materials  by weaving my baskets using a combination of round and flat reed.  I also dye the reed in a rainbow of hues.   I like to experiment with color combinations in my baskets. 

           This 10 inch egg basket is woven with a blues, greens, violets and burgundy weavers.