Today, for a change of pace, I began to make a rib basket. The first step was to choose the materials from which to make the "hoops" that form the basic outline of the basket. I chose two hoops of grapevine that I harvested from my garden in Kanata last fall. The first photograph shows examples of two grapevine hoops.
The next step was to join these two hoops together with God's eyes. Once these are completed, I then cut to size ribs from my homegrown willow. The second photograph shows the white willow in my store room from which I selected material for the ribs. White willow is willow that has been stripped of its bark in the springtime. The selected willow was soaked for thirty minutes or so to make it more supple.
In the third photograph, the joined hoops are shown, bound together with the God's eyes. Five ribs are on each lobe or cheek of the rib basket, held in place behind segments of the God's eyes and secured by two rows of weaving.
After several rows of weaving, more ribs are cut to size and placed in the basket shell. The larger the number of ribs, the better the basket. In this basket there are a total of twenty-four ribs. the fourth photograph shows these additional ribs in place before more weaving is done.
The last photograph shows the basket well on its way to completion. Infilling is begiining on one side of the basket. I will finish this basket over the weekend.