Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 2 of Tutorial for making a basketry hot air balloon.

To begin this second day of the tutorial, I need to answer a question from an interested reader. "What size cane do you use?" For the round reed I use size #3, 2.25mm, for the weavers, and for the stakes I use round reed #5, 3.25 mm. I purchase these supplies, and the liquid Rit dyes I use, from WHBaskets of Port Rowan, Ontario. I used 1/4" flat cane for the weavers too.

Today I began weaving by adding five more rows of three-rod waling. I then found that the size of the basket was becoming too much for the pyrex jug, so I placed the work-in-progress on top of a larger plastic bucket. The next step was to weave two rows of flat cane in red, two in white and two in blue. As is ended each row, I would overlap the cane for around 4" as shown in these two photographs.

The overlap should end just past a stake that it goes behind.

This balloon is much larger than the last one I made. The size depends on how aggressively you force the reed to its rounded shape.

After aother series of three rod waling and another set of red, white and blue flat cane rows, I tied the stakes together so I could begin to narrow the sphere. One more set of three rod waling was followed by another set of red, white and blue flat cane weavers.

As you can see, the balloon is shaping up very nicely. For the next set of three rod waling, I will have to weave around one stake, then two, the one then two successively since the narrowing of the shape makes it difficult to insert my fingers as I weave. More on that in the next tutorial.
One last comment: Keep the stakes damp as you weave. I used a spray bottle to do this. Spray often and spray well. (That sounds a little Biblical.)

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