Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Preparing the grapevine: second stage.

 Today I began to strip the bark from the grapevine that has been in soak for a few days. It is a laborious and time-consuming activity. I use my finger nails to separate the loose outer bark from the branches, while bending and twisting each branch.
 This is the result of 90 minutes of work. I hope to weave with the thinner branches as I make a rib basket. However, that will have to wait a few more days since this quantity of stripped grapevine will not be enough. My back aches!
When I was in Vancouver, B.C., a few years ago, I visited a First Nations craft store. There I was intrigued by a small basket where I could not readily identify the weaving material used. It turned out it was woven with willow bark. Here you can see the stripped grapevine bark. I will keep the longer strips and see if I too can weave with bark.

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