Thursday, April 15, 2010

At last: progress on the rib basket

The white willow ribs soaked for about four days before being wrapped in a damp towel and allowed to "mellow" overnight. They proved to be supple enough to bend and put in place behind the God's Eyes without breaking.

I took the remaining tail of the God's Eye weaving and wove it around the initial ribs I had in place. At this stage I usually place five ribs in each segment of the basket frame, alternating butt ends and tip ends. After weaving several rows of the 1/4" flat cane I judged it was now time to add more ribs.

I added a second rib beside each of the five ribs in each segment. I also added a rib at both grapevine rims and on either side of the hoop that formed the intersection of the two woven segments. Weaving then went around these twenty-four ribs, the hoop and the rims.

As you can see this weaving process nicely separates the ribs. The placing of the initial ribs, the weaving, the adding of more ribs and more weaving took around two hours of work. The 1/4" flat reed makes a very nice, solid and compact basket, but it does take a long time to see any major progress.

Maybe I will finish this basket tomorrow!

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