Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 3 of Tutorial: Completing the basketry hot air balloon.

Today's tasks began with preparing the base for the hot air balloon's basket. I cut the base from laminate on my table saw and then drilled holes at 1" intervals around the circumference of the base. I used a suitably sized bit so that the connecting stakes from the balloon could feed through the holes at each corner. I then cut 16 more pieces of 3.5mm cane (#5) to use as the stakes for the balloon basket.

I inserted 12 of these stakes in the remaining holes in the basket base, reserving 4 to be inserted later in the weaving besides the four stakes that join the two sections.

I then secured the stakes to the base with a "in front of one and behind one" pattern as shown here.

For the basket I wove five rows of three rod waling, three single rows of red, white and blue flat cane, and five more rows of waling.

I unserted the four remaining stakes adjacent to the connecting stakes and then wove the border. First I wove "behind two and out as shown here. And then completed the border with an "over two and in" followed by an "over two and down" on the inside of the basket.

One last step was to use four pieces of dowling to strengthen the connections between balloon and basket. I inserted these into spaces by the connecting corner stakes in the basket, and then manipulated the dowls into spaces in the balloon border too.

As you can see, the three hot air balloons I have made so far share a family resemblance, but each has its own character.

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