Friday, November 19, 2010

Two heads are better than one?

My current inventory of wicker hat stands awaits customers. All the wicker heads are hand-woven to the same pattern, but each develops its own eccentricity during the weaving process. All begin with a four through four cross. As I weave around this and separate each stake, I pull the work against my body to create the curving of the head's crown. When the crown reaches around five inches in diameter, I add two stakes to each stake, and switch from a twining weave to a three rod waling weave. I then place the crown upside down in a bowl with a rock weight inside it. I then manipulate the stakes as I weave to develop the vertical sides of the head.

NOTE: Do not forget to remove the rock from inside the body of the structure, particularly if, as you narrow the weaving down to form the neck, the narrowing is likely to be smaller than the rock!

When the head is sufficiently large, I bend the stakes inwards and weave rows of twining. This forms the chin and beginning of the neck. Here I weave around two individual stakes and then two stakes together as if they were one. I repeat this around the head, reducing the 32 stakes to 24. After several rows, I cut off one of each of the paired stakes. I repeat this process a second time and end up with 18 stakes.

I then force these stakes to the vertical once more, and begin to flare them outwards. After several rows I add one more stake to each of the stakes so each will be long enough to finish the neck and border. I add more rows of twining until the head is near its height of around 13" and then finish off with a border.


  1. very cool, John! I would love to try this. Thanks for posting how-to! they look great. I really like the second one from the left, he has a great chin!

  2. I really appreciate such comments from a master basket weaver!