Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Progress in weaving with grapevine

 My original intent was to use the grapevine weavers to make a rib basket. However, as I focussed on the nature of the grapevine I could see I would have problems joining the two hoops of the frame together with God's eye weavings. So I decided to make a round shopping basket instead. I used "brown willow" as the stakes for this. (Brown willow is willow with its bark still on.) I cut six eight inch stakes to start, forming a cross by piercing three of the stakes and inserting the other three stakes through them. I then chose two thin grapevine weavers and wove three rounds around the cross. I then separated one stake from its companions in the four segments and wove three more rounds before separating the remaining two stakes. After three more rounds I inserted two long stakes on either side of  each of the stakes and wove three more rounds. A close up of the rustic weaving that resulted is shown above. The grapevine, with its brown outer bark removed, is a palish green in colour.
The next step was to do what my English basketry books call the upsett. In this I used needle nosed pliers to crush the willow stakes at the edge of the round base. I was then able to bend them upwards without the stakes braking.

My next task is to weave the sides of the basket using an English randing technique. In this i will use one weaver at a time and weave one round at a time. Each grapevine round will be woven starting at it butt end. Each round will be staggered one stake to the left of the previous round. With 24 stakes I will need to weave 24 rounds to achieve symmetry.

I will also have to remember to put in two thicker false stakes after I have woven several rounds so a handle can be inserted later.

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