Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Beginning to weave a rib basket

After the successful use of walnut liquor as a dye yesterday, I decided to start making a rib basket using the newly dyed flat cane. The fact that the weather is somewhat miserable with rain and thunder showers was a major influence in this decision too.

The first step was to collect the materials I would need. For the "hoops" of the basket I chose two grapevine hoops of approximately the same size and thickness.

I then selected around 30 brown willow stakes and cut sections to form the ribs of the basket. (Brown willow is willow with its bark on.) This willow is from last spring or even the spring before. It is dry and brittle and has to be soaked for at least 24 hours before I can bend it to use a ribs without fear that it will break. It is now soaking in the basement bathtub.

The next step was to join the two grapevine hoops with the flat cane by means of a God's Eye. One hoop was placed inside the other at right angles, and then the God's Eye was woven.

Here you can see the two hoops joined together with two God's Eyes. This frame is ready for tomorrow when I add the soked ribs and finish weaving the basket's body.

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