Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas

May the Peace and Joy that Christmas brings always be with you and your family.

I hope that 2016 brings you many opportunities to weave baskets, learn new techniques and meet other
basket weavers.   Happy New Year!


                                                                           Christmas Basket pattern by Sharon Klusman

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Woven Reed Ornaments

With Christmas fast approaching, I have been weaving some reed ornaments.

New for this year are woven reed reindeer.   They are suitable for hanging on your tree or as part of your holiday decorations.   Some are woven with natural reed  and others use colored reed.


         Reed bells, reed stockings and woven stars are also woven to complete the Christmas decorations.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Carroll County Studio Tour 2015

I will be participating in the Carroll County Artists Studio Tour again this weekend.  The event is a free, self-guided tour of some of the area art studios.  Each stop has multiple artists demonstrating and presenting their work for sale. You can do the stops in any order, or split them up over the weekend.  Check  out all the artists and the stop locations at

 New this year……. The Cat Tracks Studio Stop, where I show my baskets, will have a preview opening from 3:30 to 6:30 on Friday . 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

 Family, friends,
 traditions, togetherness,
 laughter, love

So much to celebrate and be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Autumn Vase (pattern by Sharon Klusman Cornerstone Baskets) with 2 Round Reed Pumpkins (pattern by Anne Bowers)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Gourd Luminary

While attending the Bedford "Weaving Your Cares Behind" convention I won a kit from  Coastal Pine Creations.   Dory Maier and Dianne Masi provided a spiral copper base, a cut gourd and supplies in the kit.

I painted the gourd a blended brown and gold color. Using waxed linen I woven a loose  design to fill the open cutouts.  A pine needle rim was attached to with natural cane. 

A small vase with a flameless candle was
inserted into the base of the gourd

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Weaving Your Cares Bedford, PA

I spent a beautiful fall weekend in Bedford,  PA attending the Basketweavers Guild Weaving Your Cares Behind  convention.  Basket classes were offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning.   This year I took all three classes taught by basketmaker Anne Bowers of Kearneysville, West Virginia. 

 Friday I made a round colorful 2 /2 twill basket.  The base measures 8" square and the finished diameter of the rim is 10".  The rim is lashed with a piece of heavy waxed linen.


Saturday I wove  two square ribbed baskets.  The larger basket began with an 8" square handle, while the smaller basket used a 6" square.  After making a decorative handle and God's eye,  all the whittled ribs were inserted into the basket behind the God's eye at the same time.  I used thin cane to begin the weaving and hold the ribs in place.  The remainder of the basket was woven with colored flat reed.

On Sunday Anne had a collection of old potato mashers for us to weave around.  Some mashers had round bases and others had square bases.  I selected a rusty round potato masher with a brown wooden handle.  Splints were attached to the holes of the masher and I row of twined a row of round reed to secure it to the potato masher.  Additional splints were added to the twined row.  The base was woven out to the desired size, twining the round reed. The sides were brought up and woven in a start/stop weave.  I used brown, mustard and rust colored accents on the side to coordinate with the potato mashers color.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Magic Basket

I was commissioned by a magician to make a large basket for his Basket Girl Illusion act.  He had been unable to find a suitable basket in any magic shop or catalog.   Another magician he knew had an antique basket used for the illusion, so I was able to see it to take measurements and for a visual reference.  I decided to take up the challenge.   It is the largest basket I've made in some time.  I can't wait to see him use it in a performance.

BASKET GIRL ILLUSION  -   The illusion starts with a girl to stepping into the basket.  A large cloth is thrown over the girls head as she is pushed into the space.  The basket lid is put on a the cloth is removed and stomped on to show the girl is still in the basket.  The magician now runs 4 swords through the basket - one on each side and through the top of the lid. The swords are removed from the basket.  The cloth is thrown over the basket and the lid and cloth are removed together, revealing the girl is still in the basket.  The cloth is again thrown over the girl as she is pushed down in the basket.    Then the magician steps into the basket to show it is now empty.  The cloth is thrown aside.  A form seems to appear under the cloth.  The magician walks over to the basket and throws the cloth in the basket.   The cloths suddenly starts to move and raises higher and higher .    Upon being thrown aside the girl suddenly reappears!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

2015 A Weaving Odyssey

The Central Pennsylvania Basket Weaver's Guild hosted another fabulous basket convention this past weekend.  Instructors and basket weavers of all experience levels gathered in Gettysburg, PA for a fun-filled weaving experience.

 Thursday I learned to weave with waxed linen by Deb Roberson of Hallam,PA.  I made a tiny 2 1/2" diameter bowl using  twining and a braided border. 

Friday I took a class with Laura Lee Zanger from Augusta, GA to make an Oconee Twill Tote basket.  The tote begins with a 3/3 twill  base.  The sides are woven in a Cherokee 1-3-5 twill.  I personalized one of the medallions in the design with my monogram.  Leather straps were added for easy toting.

I wove with copper and hand-painted watercolor paper strips under the direction of Judith Saunders of Norfolk, VA on Saturday.  First I created a square based, 5 1/2" high bias weave vessel with  a distinctive plaid pattern .  A copper rim was lashed with waxed cotton cord.  Paper pinwheel curls were added to embellish the side.   

I took a second class with Judith Saunders on Sunday.  I used  copper and paper strips to make a small pouch necklace  measuring 2 1/2" by 3 1/2". with  in a similar style.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Alaskan Baleen Basketry

When I travel I am always on the lookout for local basketry.  While recently visiting Alaska I was  looking for baskets made of cedar.  (This spring I took a class to learn to weave a basket with Alaskan red cedar strips.)  What I found were many more styles of Alaskan baskets by native artists.

In addition to admiring many beautiful baskets in the Doris Borhauer Basket Collection in Sitka, Alaska I learned about Baleen Basketry.

Baleen or "whale bone" is the tough keratin that comes from the mouth of plankton eating whales. Inupiaq native artisans adapted the traditional coiled willow-root basket style to form baleen baskets beginning in the early 1900's.  Artisans continue to create coiled baskets with this material.  Most black baleen baskets I saw in Alaska had a ivory circle base and a carved ivory decorative top to the lid. They were beautiful and skillfully made!


Check out the following website for more information on Baleen Baskets :

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Gathering Basket

 A Gathering Basket was often used to hold cut garden flowers collected for arrangements.  The long length and shallow depth of the basket allowed for flowers to be placed with out disturbing the blooms.

This basket is 15 inches long by 9 inches wide.
The basket is only 4 inches depth.  It is woven with natural flat reed and has dyed purple highlights. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sweetgrass and Pineneedle baskets

I have continued to experiment with sewing sweetgrass coiled baskets.

For this basket I combined sweetgrass coils with
pineneedles.  Brown pineneedle coils formed the base. 
Using palmetto strips I continued the base and sides
with sweetgrass coils.

The top of the basket has a coil of black pine needles
held with black waxed linen.   A sliced walnut was
added to two sides and held in place with a final coil
of black pineneedles.

I coiled red dyed pine needles around a wood burned oval base using waxed linen.

After several rows of red pineneedles, I switched to black pine needles.

I ended the coiled basket with two rows of sweetgrass. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sweet Grass Basketry

Mary Graham-Grant is dedicated to preserving the tradition of sweet grass basketry that was brought to South Carolina by slaves who came from West Africa.   Born and reared along the coast in Georgetown, South Carolina,  Mary Graham-Grant makes baskets similar to the baskets that are made in Sierra Leone, Africa.   She spent a week at Common Ground on the Hill sharing her knowledge and expertise.

I took Mary Graham-Grant's class to learn this technique of "sewing" coiled baskets. The center of the basket begins with a longleaf pine needle knot. Sweet grass, which grows in marshy coastal areas of South Carolina, are bundled and  coiled around the center.  Using strips of palmetto leaves to bind the coils of sweet grass the base is woven to the desired diameter.  The sides are then raised to the desired height.  I added a twisted loop handle on one side of my basket.  

You can learn more about Mary Graham-Grant and her baskets by visiting her website:

Friday, June 26, 2015

Common Ground on the Hill 2015

Common Ground on the Hill Traditions Week 2015 begins  Sunday, June 28th.  

The next two weeks are full of  daily coursework, evening performances and non-stop activities at McDaniel College.   I am  returning for my eighth summer at Common Ground on the Hill. This year I will be taking art classes week one.  I look forward to posting photos of my artwork at the end of the first week.  

The second week I will be teaching a class on egg baskets.  Class participants will weave a 10" Egg Basket focusing on shaping the ribs to create a pleasing form. 

I am showcasing six of my egg baskets of various sizes and color combinations in the Common Ground Art Instructors Exhibit. The opening reception is this Sunday, June 28th from 4:30 to 5:30 in the Rice Gallery of McDaniel College.

To learn more check out the Common Ground website at:    

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Cedar Weaving with Pam Talsky

I spent the weekend with the ladies of the Central Pennsylvania Basket Weavers Guild at their annual spring retreat. It was a fun time of weaving, talking and enjoying each others company.

The weaving workshops were lead by Pam Talsky.  She brought hand harvested Alaskan yellow and western red cedar bark from Thorne Bay Alaska for weaving a choice of baskets.  www/

Friday evening I made 2 bracelets from Alaskan yellow cedar.
Four pieces of cedar were braided around a flat oval reed circle form to create a design both inside and out .

Saturday's basket began with a twill base of western red cedar.  The sides combined a pattern of purple tortoise shell cane and a cross stitch weaving pattern of purple waxed linen.  The top of the basket was finished with a Haida seed twining pattern with yellow cedar.  A small accent of beads was added to the front of the basket.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Twill Weave

The weaving is over a glass cylinder 10 1/2" high and 3" in diameter.  Using a purple dyed cane weaver and black dyed cane spokes inserted into a black walnut base I followed a 1/2/3 twill pattern.    I wove over 1, under 2, over 3, under 1, over 2, and under 3 from the beginning of the base to the top of the cylinder.  The weaving is topped with a black walnut turned rim.

I followed a pattern designed by basketweaver Annette Kraayeveld (

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Weekend of Basket Weaving

I spent a weekend of Basket Weaving in Annandale, Virginia with the High Country Basketry Guild. 

Saturday I taught a 10" Appalachian Egg Basket class.

Participants used oak hoops, round ribs and flat reed weavers to construct their basket.   A God's eye was taught to join the hoops.They were able to select a decorative handle pattern to weave and various colored reed to individualize their egg baskets.


  Sunday I taught a Medium Key Basket class.

     Participants used a D handle and round hoop  to form the frame.  A God's eye was taught to join the hoops.They were able to select a decorative   handle pattern to weave and various colored reed to individualize their key baskets.

Photos of the baskets made by the guild members during the weekend are shown below.   To learn more about the High Country Basketry Guild visit their website: 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Oval Key Basket

What to do on a snowy Saturday? 

Weave a basket of course!

I spent the afternoon weaving a small wall basket, sometimes called a key basket.  I started with an oval hoop and a D frame.  I used a darker round reed for the ribs and cream flat reed for the weavers.

The overall dimensions are 10" long x 6.5" wide and 4" deep pocket.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Woven Palm Basket

Basketmakers routinely make baskets using the materials they have available to them.  Sneaking in a quick trip to Key West to get away from the cold, snow and ice of the northeast, I met a basketmaker who did just that!  Notice the woven hat that he is wearing is made from the palms too.

Using the green leaves from the local palm trees, the baskekmaker sat on the sidewalk and wove baskets for the passing tourists.  Of course I had to have a basket.  Made just that morning the basket was a bright green and tightly woven.  

 Since I've been home my basket has dried to a light grayish tan.  The weaving is also becoming  looser as it dries.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pine Needle Bowls

Happy New Year!   

A busy holiday kept me from posting on my blog, but not from making baskets.  Here are some of my new baskets.

I have been  experimenting with using cutout wooden disks as a base for pine needle bowls.  First I drilled small holes around the edge of the wooden disks.   I used waxed linen to attach the pine needles to the base and to continue to wrap around the base and to bring up the sides.

Using both natural pine needles and black and burgundy dyed pine needles I created bands of color around the bowls.