Friday, June 11, 2010

Mark V of Wanda's Two Loaf Basket: the Reveal

Wanda's two-loaf bread basket is now finished! It took three weeks of frustration and several false starts, but I am happy with the final result. I just hope that Wanda is too.

As you may recall from earlier blogs, the base went well. However the first version of weaving the sides was not satisfactory since the sides sloped out too much. The Mark II version of the sides, with thicker stakes, proved to be much more vertical. All I had to do then was to weave a lid.

It took three attempts before I became satisfied with a suitable lid. The first attempt, Mark III, was a duplication of the base, using flat cane. It was difficult to get this to the dimensions of the opening of the basket. And, when I sat it on the top of the basket it just did not look right. It was too flimsy and just did not sit right. Mark III became an addition to the compost-recycling Green Bin!

Mark IV was woven, like Mark V, with an oval beginning. Oval bases are not my forte. I have woven less than a handful in my career as a basket-maker. In the Mark IV version I re-learned that I should never rely on my memory for the "tricks" that make the difference between success and disaster. When the incorrect weave is used, an oval base becomes unmanageable, with uneven ups and downs that no amount of soaking and weighing down with rocks can remedy. One more item for the green bin.

The Mark V version was woven following the instructions of one of my library of books about basket-weaving. Instead of weaving with two weavers (twining), or with three (three-rod waling) the correct weave is with one weaver, and a particular weave called "Japanese Weave." Its is an "over two and under one weave." This proved to produce a base that was easy to flatten and then dome! Surprise, surprise.

Once the oval had reached close to the size of the opening of the basket, I then wove a "packing weave" to change the oval shape to rectangular. I finished with three-rod waling, the upset and a border. The ceramic knob is a final finishing touch.


  1. That is a basket to treasure. Wanda will just LOVE it. Enjoyed all the pictures.

  2. Wow, what a beautiful piece! I can't imagine all the hard work that went into it, but it sure it worth it to see it now. Absolutely gorgeous :)

  3. John that bread loaf basket really did turn out nicely, congratulations to you. I' sure it will be appreciated.