When I first started weaving someone told me that the length of the lasher needed to be two and a half times the circumference of the basket. So I would wrap the lasher around the basket two and a half times; if it was at least that long, I would start lashing. Unfortunately, I often found the lasher was too short. So I assumed that I had heard wrong, maybe it should be three times around, but that didn’t work consistently either. It was so frustrating to have my lasher run out one or two stakes from being finished!!
So, being me, I started to analyze when I ran out and when I didn’t. Which was correct – two and a half times around the basket or three times around the basket or …?? I took notes, lots of notes. I know, I know, you are thinking this lady is crazy and you are probably right, but I did learn a lot!Read more
My March was filled with traveling and teaching basket classes- I put on over 3200 miles, traveled through nine states and taught 18 basket classes. It was busy. It was fun. I am tired. Since all of my miles brought me south of Wisconsin, I was hoping to experience spring. There were signs … wild daffodils in Kentucky, redbud in North Carolina. And I was able to enjoy coffee outside with a dear friend. However, winter was also evident – two days of snow in North Carolina and at least six inches of that white stuff on the ground in the Virginia mountains. All the while my husband kept reporting signs of spring at home. So I came home 🙂
I’ve been home a few days – now that I am settled in, I thought I would share some pictures (well, okay, a lot of pictures – I did teach a lot). Then I plan retreat to the studio to weave 🙂 the best kind of therapy.
My first event was Woven Together in Western Kentucky
Well, I am packed and ready to hit the road in the morning. Woven Together in Western Kentucky – here I come.
It was wonderful to have four months at home and in the studio. I didn’t do everything on my ever growing list, but I did cross off a fair number of items – including a much needed winter vacation to a warmer part of the world!
And now before my travel schedule takes over my life, I thought I would release my six newest patterns. Read more
Last year, ten members of my local basket weaving guild participated in the Mystery Basket Project. It’s a great way to encourage creativity. We had several months to weave our project, and I am not exaggerating when I say I stared at the contents of my bag for months before I had my first idea!
In a nutshell here’s how it works:
Participants will be given a number when they sign up. Then they will go through their basket, craft and art supplies and put 10 items in a paper grocery bag. This bag is sealed, labeled with the participant’s number and given to the organizer.
I am glad so many of you enjoyed my thoughts on Creativity and Excellence. And now, as promised, here are some of the things you can do to encourage creativity. These are things I do – things I practise. It is not a list of rules, it is a decision to learn and to grow and to make things – this is my life. I hope you will find some of these practices helpful.
Surround yourself with books and patterns, your favorite baskets, art, color andjust enough weaving material to make your hands itchy to weave. Books inspire me. A table with a project in process or reed in a variety of beautiful colors make me want to touch. Beautiful things make me smile.
I have been thinking about this topic for a long time, years in fact. I believe that focusing on excellence, on developing and fine tuning our skills, encourages creativity. In my experience, a lifetime of making things, including twenty five years of basket weaving, I find the pursuit of excellence to be the key to creativity. This principle is also evident when you look at other artists and the progression of their work.
Malcom Gladwell has made popular the idea that it takes 10,000 hours to master or become ‘good’ at something. That’s 10,000 hours of work! And the wicker basketmaker’s school in Lichtenfels, Germany (Staatliche Berufsfachschule für Flechtwerkgestaltung) has a three year basket weaving program. That’s right, willow weavers in Germany go to school full time for three years, after which time they graduate and begin their basket weaving careers as Wickerwork Designers.
I have concluded my travels for the year, and my 2018 travel/teaching schedule doesn’t begin until March of 2018. I have all kinds of ideas to weave up and things I want to do … but first, as promised, I am having another kit sale. It will be short – starts today, November 8, and ends on November 17. Many of the kits I have on sale, I will no longer be making and some kits I only have 2 or three left. When they’re gone, they are gone!!
Shipping, same deal as before: $5 for one (1) kit, 7.50 for two (2) kits, $10 for three (3) kits, 12.50 for four (4) kits and $15 for five (5) or more kits.
An experiment in 5/5 twill; careful placement of stakes and weavers brings out the arrow design. The rim is overlayed and double lashed with waxed linen. Finished Size of Basket: 12″ diameter x 10″ high.
Well, October has come and gone. My month started with a trip west to see family. The Bighorns in Wyoming were snow covered, brilliant colored aspen and birch trees lined the valleys in Montana and the sugar beet harvest was in full swing in Alberta. I was thankful for clear roads and time with people I love.
Then it was home and time for October classes. Read more
Broomcorn, broomsticks, turkey wing whisk brooms, hearth brooms, kitchen brooms, angel whisk brooms, broomstick cake and more all in a new book by basket maker, gourd artist and broom maker Karen Hobbs. “Swept Away, the Vanishing Art of Broom Making” is scheduled to be released this December (2017). Read more
Seven weeks ago, we decided that we needed to re-shingle the roof. No leaks, but it was just time. That decision started a discussion on the chimneys – which lead to the decision to remove the fireplace …which lead to deciding to remove the oak paneling … which lead to deciding to remove a brick wall in the living room … which lead to needing new flooring in our main living areas … which (obviously) got me thinking about new flooring in the studio and dye room and reminded me that EVERY wall needed a fresh coat of paint!
Now cutting and tucking may not be your favorite part of weaving a basket, but you really should put ‘Camp Tuck’ on your weaving event bucket list. Land of Lincoln Basketweavers Association (LLBWA) hosts ‘Camp Tuck’ each September in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois.
It’s the last day of August! My month disappeared in flurry of home remodeling. Not quite done, in September I tear my studio and dye room down and get it ready for paint and new flooring. Not exactly sure where I will put everything while the old flooring is being ripped out and new installed, but I know I will love it when it’s done! I’ll try to take some before, during and after photos for you.
Besides, self contracting and remodeling, I did do some teaching. In early August, a group of weavers in Sussex, Wisconsin invited me to teach. They had three projects going: Twizarr, T Tray and Arrows.
There are a couple of ways to weave a round base on a basket. Today, I am posting my tutorial on how to twine a perfectly round base with round reed on flat or flat oval spokes. I took lots of pictures and I am just going to start at the very beginning. I will post some pictures of baskets with twined round bases at the end of the post.
I have spent most of the last several weeks in the studio, avoiding our wet, cool summer and the mosquito filled woods. It’s fine with me, the studio is my happy place. I have been weaving, writing proposals and patterns, filling kit orders, working on a tutorial, finishing baskets, playing with paper and dyeing reed. Last week, I updated my Teaching Schedule, adding in the beginnings of my 2018 class schedule. So much to do and so many baskets to weave.
Here’s a peak at some of the new baskets I have been weaving and will be teaching soon:
I finally did that inventory thing and I am ready to clear out my storage room to make room for my 2018 baskets – so I am having a summer kit sale! If you follow me, you know I don’t often offer kits on my web site. This won’t last long – maybe a few weeks, maybe a month. Then I will be on to other things.
UPDATE: The summer kit sale is over. You may still enjoy scrolling through the baskets and the patterns are still available in my store – so I will leave this post up. I hope to have a Fall Kit Sale, so check back!
First Shipping Details: $5 for the first kit, the add $2.50 for each additional kit. Five or more kits and shipping is a flat $15. 🙂
And here’s what I have in my storage room – I’ll list them alphabetically. (Keep scrolling folks – I am offering one of the kits at half price!) Click on the name or the photo to find it in the store. Read more